Lewis Hamilton warned F1 against 'biased' authorities
- After a dismal end to the 2021 season, Lewis Hamilton advised Formula One against having "biased" officials
- Lewis Hamilton is getting ready to participate in the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne this weekend
- Mercedes is trailing Ferrari and Red Bull early on, after years of supremacy
After a dismal end to the 2021 season, Lewis Hamilton warned Formula One against having "biased" officials.
Lewis Hamilton is getting ready to participate in the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne this weekend. Mercedes is trailing Ferrari and Red Bull early on, after years of supremacy. As a result, Hamilton may miss out on a record-tying seventh world title. Last season in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton was on track to win his ninth championship until the safety car was deployed and Max Verstappen was allowed to pit onto fresh soft tyres.
After that, race director Michael Masi allowed some lapped vehicles to pass the safety car, allowing Verstappen to narrow the distance between him and his title challenger before overtaking him on the final lap.
The decision enraged the seven-time champion and his Mercedes team, who sat silent for months as speculation about his future grew.
Hamilton was asked in February if modifications made during the preseason period will lead to better decision-making by officials.
He replied: “We need to make sure we have non-biased stewards too.
“Race drivers, some are very, very good friends with certain individuals, some travel with some individuals, take a more keen liking to some.
“I think (F1 needs) people who have no biases, and are super central when it comes to making decisions.”
Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team principal, also called for improvements from the race authorities.
He said: “I think we need professionalism in the stewards’ room.
“I don’t think there is a conscious bias, to be honest. It’s intelligent people.”
Red Bull boss Christian Horner said: “I would agree with Toto that I don’t think there’s an intended bias. I’m not aware of any stewards travelling with drivers to races.”
To increase diversity in the sport, Hamilton believes there should be more female stewards.
He continued: “It would be awesome to have a male and female as the two race directors."
Lord Peter Hain, a Labour peer and vice-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Formula One, told Express.co.uk recently that the animosity between Horner and Wolff has been detrimental to the sport.
He said: "I used to have a lot of respect for Christian, who is obviously a top F1 leader. But I thought he was totally out of order at Silverstone and he never repeated that, I think he probably realised. " I think he would have gained more respect if he apologised, but he never did. We don't want to see anything like that ever again"
"Competitive tension and rivalry is the meat and drink of Formula 1."
Last July's race at Silverstone was dramatic: Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided on the first lap, with the latter striking the wall and withdrawing.
Despite being penalised for the incident, Hamilton won the race. Hamilton was accused by Horner of putting Verstappen's life at jeopardy.
At the time, Hamilton reacted to Horner's comments by declaring he will continue to race "hard but fairly."
Lord Hain goes on to say that a healthy rivalry may be helpful to the sport and that it will inevitably get tense owing to the pressure on teams in Formula One.
He added: "I think provided it doesn't spill over in the way it did at Silverstone, provided that doesn't happen all of us fans will be relaxed about it"
"Teams try to beat each other, drivers try to beat each other. It is obviously going to be competitive and hostilities will break out in the heat of the moment. Emotions run high and F1 is an emotional sport. The margins are just so tight. When you have those margins inevitably the temperature rises. People get emotional and sometimes they speak unwisely."