FIA to provide video evidence and improve stewarding of incidents in 2009

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

F1 fans will be able to scrutinise controversial incidents more closely in 2009
F1 fans will be able to scrutinise controversial incidents more closely in 2009

The FIA is to introduce a series of changes to how its rules are enforced during F1 weekends.

In a significant change the FIA will ensure all video evidence relating to controversial moments is made available to the public via its and FOM’s websites.

It did so following the questionable penalties given to Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa and Sebastien Bourdais during the Japanese Grand Prix.

It will also provided more detailed information as to why a particular penalty was handed out. At present the stewards issue very short statements that explain little more than what penalty has been issued.

It is also to begin bringing trainee stewads to five F1 rounds per year. Any stewards who is to officiate at an F1 race will have to have attended at least one race in this capacity to be qualified for stewarding duties in future. These trainee stewards may include former drivers.

There was outcry among F1 fans and criticism from several drivers including Nick Heidfeld, Jarno Trulli, Mark Webber and Jenson Button following a string of dubious decisions during the 2008 championship, chiefly at Fuji and Spa.

The changes go some way to making necessary improvements and the moves to improve transparency are especially welcome.

But these changes do not address the large grey areas in the application of the rules. The gap between the rules as written and how they are enforced can be huge – particularly on matters of driving standards. Past precedent on these matters is extremely hard to follow and often appears contradictory.

Still, at least the FIA understands improvement is urgently needed and has acted upon it.

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