Consistent stewardship in F1… you must be joking?

While watching free practice 3 today, at the head of the show I hear David Croft and Morris Hamilton discussing how Nico Rosberg was fined €5000 for doing a few interviews before going to the stewards office. Drivers are required to go straight to the stewards office immediately after the session, which Rosberg did not do, for whatever reason, so the fine is fair as that’s the rules.

But then the conversation continues and we find that the stewards have found Rosberg guilty of causing a collision. Which again is fine as he did collide with Jaime Alguersuari as the Spaniard exited the pit-lane, Rosberg getting his braking all wrong going into turn one, having nowhere to go but into the side of Alguersuari. But I believe it’s a racing incident combined with the stupid design of the pit exit half way round turn one. Rosberg did escape punishment by virtue of being a good boy in the past. I’m not joking, the stewards released a statement saying something along the lines of “in view of Nico Rosberg’s previous good record, no punishment will be handed out”.

This opens a whole new can of worms, especially given the punishments handed out to Lewis Hamilton recently, of which many fans, former drivers and pundits agree were clumsy racing incidents at worse. Now we know that stewards take previous incidents into account when deciding on fault, that explains the inconsistent stewardship! Each incident should judged on its own merit, if previous infractions are taking into account then stewardship in F1 is inherently corrupt. Frankly this statement from the stewards is a massive own goal, confirming what many have suspected for some time, after this season there has to be an overhaul of the stewardship system in F1!

In the session itself; the first completely dry session this weekend, McLaren carried their form through from the wet practice 2 session claiming a 1 – 2. Mark Webber’s Red Bull was 0.8 seconds off Jenson Button’s time of 1:36.910, Lewis Hamilton finished the session almost 0.3 seconds behind his team mate. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were 1.2 and 1.5 seconds adrift of the pole time. Then comes the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher, a massive 2.65 seconds off Button’s time, Sebastian Vettel could only manage ninth place with a time 2.8 seconds off the pole time, but he did have two attempts of setting a fast time baulked by the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari who would not let the double world champion pass; something that probably won’t go down well at Red Bull, Toro Rosso effectively being the Red Bull ‘B’ team. So we’ll have to wait to see Vettel’s true pace in qualifying, he’ll probably pop in another last minute lap to claim another pole but here’s hoping that we can have a non Red Bull pole position at the 16th time of asking!

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