Lewis Hamilton believes that some Formula 1 stewards are biased against certain drivers.
Seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton has stated that the FIA must hire unbiased stewards to officiate Formula 1 races, and that he also wants to see more diversity among F1’s selection of stewards at race weekends to guarantee that penalties are imposed fairly.
Following last year’s season finale in Abu Dhabi, where Hamilton lost the world title to Max Verstappen due to a controversial ruling by the former race director Michael Masi, the FIA is considering significant changes to F1 officiating.
Hamilton said it was critical that the stewards’ judgments were not influenced by their friendships at F1 testing in Barcelona on Wednesday. When asked about addressing the issue with the new race directors, the champ brought up the subject of prejudice among the stewards.
“We need to make sure we get non-biased stewards,” said the Mercedes driver.
“Race 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 think people who have no bias and are super central when it comes to making decisions.”
For the 2022 season, Michael Masi has been replaced as the race director by two new people who will work together to ensure what happened last year will never happen again. They will also have better support in the form of a virtual race control room and a senior advisor.
Hamilton also stressed the importance of more diversity among FIA stewards. Typically, a group of four individuals works with race control to evaluate accidents and determine fines for each race.
“I want to see more women in the stewards’ room,” Hamilton said.
“I don’t think we have many, I think last year it was maybe one or two… and I think it would be awesome for them to have a male and female as the two race directors.”
“I think that’s a great way of promoting diversity too.”
Last year, numerous drivers spoke out against unfair penalties, with Fernando Alonso arguing that “different rules apply to different people” and that it was fascinating to observe the stewards were biased towards the drivers nationality. Drivers were also uncertain about what was allowed in wheel-to-wheel combat, prompting requests for more consistency.
The unpredictable nature of racing rules was at a peak last year following the battles between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, resulting in discussions between the drivers and the FIA.