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FIA suggest potential for “perceived bias” with permanent stewards

FIA suggest potential for “perceived bias” with permanent stewards

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Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

FIA race director Michael Masi has suggested a permanent stewards’ panel could promote “perceived bias”.

Criticism of stewarding inconsistencies has ramped up recently, especially in light of Max Verstappen‘s defence of Lewis Hamilton in Brazil that went unpunished.

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This was in contrast to previous decisions given in Austria, in particular, with penalties handed to Lando Norris and Sergio Perez for forcing rivals off-track.

Asked if a permanent body of stewards was feasible, Masi replied: “Feasibility is one part.

“But I think you will find, and there were some wise words about those that operated under a permanent stewards’ panel, that thought there was perceived bias when there was a permanent steward.

“The stewarding we have now, with the pool of four chairmen that we share, with the pool of driver stewards, the way the chairmen meet regularly, with every system we need to take a step back and remember it is the first time in a long time we are in a real championship fight between two amazing drivers, two fantastic teams.

“As a regulator, last time I saw there was no regulator in the world that is going to be popular, regardless of if you’re a referee or a regulator of any sport.

“That is part of the role that we fulfil and forms our perspective. There will always be slight differences but at the end of the day, the stewards are there to make those.”

Put to him that those slight differences are the exact point of the conversation, Masi commented: “You need to remember, though, you can’t have two exactly the same instances, as in each and every incident is different. They’ve all got slight nuances.

“Everyone tries to blanket incidents by saying they’re all the same but they’re not, and I think that’s where, at times, the perceived inconsistency comes into things.

“But the analysis that goes into each and every incident is exactly that and having a look at all the circumstances of the day.”

A. F1

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November 25, 2021 at 11:25AM

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