Mercedes boss Toto Wolff does not agree with his driver Lewis Hamilton that bias exists among the Formula 1 stewards.
Decision-making from Race Control was a recurring source of frustration in 2021, so the FIA carried out a restructuring mission ahead of the 2022 campaign, making the race director role now a two-person position, with duties rotating between the pair.
They will be supported by Charlie Whiting’s long-time deputy Herbie Blash, as well as an external virtual Race Control.
Hamilton suggested though that there was an issue further down the structure with the race stewards, believing that some are biased towards certain drivers.
“We need to make sure we get non-biased stewards too,” said Hamilton, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“Racing drivers, some are very, very good friends with certain individuals. Some travel with certain individuals and tend to take more of a keen liking to some of them.
“I just think [we need] people who have no bias and are super-central when it comes to making decisions.”
Red Bull principal Christian Horner moved to deny those claims, and so did Wolff, Hamilton’s boss at Mercedes. That being said, Wolff believes what is needed from the stewards is a greater consistency in their decision making.
“I think we need professionalism in the stewards’ room,” said Wolff.
“I don’t think there is a bias, to be honest. [They are] intelligent people but, most importantly, there has to be a standard whenever we talk about Race Control, the support they will have from a distance or the stewards.
“That’s what we deserve and that’s what everyone expects.
“I think we can rely on very good people. The most important thing, and we all talked about this last year, was the issue of inconsistency.
“There shouldn’t be much room for interpretation of the rules. There shouldn’t be much flexibility depending on the potential outcome. The rules are the rules.
“As everything is being restructured, I trust Mohammed [ben Sulayem, FIA president] that we will optimise all these structures in the future.”
An FIA spokesperson also moved to deny that there are biased stewards in Formula 1, telling the PA News Agency that the duties are held by an “experienced group of officials” who go about their job with “impartiality and the utmost professionalism”.
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez meanwhile has spoken in favour of appointing permanent stewards, rather than the panel changing from race to race.
Perez calls for permanent stewards
Sergio Perez has called for stewards to be permanent throughout the F1 season to improve consistency.