Formula One Champions Want Consistent Decisions

Adam PooleAnalyst IOctober 16, 2008

Both Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso have spoken out about the recent in-frequencies in steward decisions.

More and more penalties have been handed out as the season has gone on and this may be a direct result of some rules being allowed and then the FIA realizing the danger and getting more strict about them without informing the drivers.

Up until the Belgian Grand-Prix and Lewis Hamilton's controversial cutting of the apex, the FIA were being pretty lenient as to how much a corner can be cut, since then, any car found cutting corners without very good reasoning has been fined and penalized.

Since then, last week's Japanese GP saw drive-through penalties issued to Hamilton, Felipe Massa and Sebastien Bourdais for various incidents.

Bourdais' 25-second penalty came as a result of his tangle with Ferrari driver, Felipe Massa, with many Formula One fans saying that the Toro Rosso driver did his best to get out of the Ferrari's path as he exited the pit lane, and that Filipe caused the spin by turning in and trying to cut up Bourdais.

Alonso has stated that the frustration caused by such penalties is a mutual feeling between the all of the drivers in the paddock.

"We probably believe that there are too many penalties because sometimes the races are decided by the stewards.  Sometimes they are wrong, sometimes they are fair, for the drivers, what will help is to have consistency in the penalties."

The inconsistency in penalties given by race stewards shows in what Fernando said after that.

"If one time you do something and you get penalised, it’s not possible that the next time you do the same thing and you don’t get penalised."

I recently wrote an article promoting the use of former drivers as professional stewards, and this seems to be the view of the drivers as well as Alonso told the media, "I think it’s a good idea to have an ex-driver with the stewards just to help them, just because the decisions they take are difficult to know from the outside if you never drove a Formula 1 car."

Reigning World Champion, Kimi Raikkonen, echoed the views of Alonso on this matter saying, "It would keep people happier if every time you get the same decision.  Maybe if there would be an older driver (with the stewards) there would be more respect and people wouldn’t complain as much.  It’s only that people want to have the same thing happening every time, the same penalties and same rules."

Lewis Hamilton received a drive through penalty after his massive driving error into turn one of last weeks Japanese Grand-Prix which saw him out brake himself.  As a result of this error Raikkonen was forced off the track.

Speaking about such incidents, Raikkonen told the media, "It is a dangerous sport, so when you race against somebody, you try to make sure that first of all you want to get round him and not crash into him because it’s not going to help you or him. 

"Sometimes you get it wrong, when you push on the limit and both guys try to go as fast as possible in a corner and not try to let the other guy past.  Sometimes you end up hitting each other and that’s racing."

Many F1 fans have complained about the inconsistency of the decisions made by stewards, some believe the race should be won on the track and not in an office, and that stewards shouldn't have the right to give penalties after the race has finished. 

This year has been one of the more controversial years in Formula One history, and I am sad to say that this is what I feel most of the fans will remember about F1 2008.