F1 steward retires after being slammed by Steiner

Gunther Steiner has become a much loved star of the Formula One Netflix series “Drive to survive.” The straight talking Italian is regularly filmed recording his direct and at time controversial opinion in front of the camera.

The Haas team boss represents a refreshing approach to media management which when controversy arises is often meant with a “no comment” stance.



Stewards criticised for “inconsistency”

During the Friday team principal press conference Steiner was asked about a controversial decision made last time out in Monaco when his driver Nico Hulkenberg was punished for causing a collision with another driver which TV replays later showed never happened.

Gunther explained his frustration to the assembled media claiming, “we need a different system for stewards.”

Since the departure of Michael Massi the drivers, team principals and F1 commentators have repeatedly accused race control and the stewards of making inconsistent decisions when handed out penalties.



Steiner slams “Part time” nature

The stewards are part time and on the whole are grace and favour appointments from the various FIA accredited associations around the world. Steiner believes its time for F1 to make a change and appoint full time professionals.

“Because every professional sport has professionals being referees and stuff like this. F1 is one of the biggest sports in the world, and we still have laymen deciding on the fate of people who invest millions into their careers,” Steiner complained.

“And it’s always a discussion because there’s no consistency. And again, I don’t want to blame any particular person on this, but if you’re not all there all the time, it’s just like a job every… it’s not even a job. In a job you can get sacked! Because you get paid and, if you do a bad job, you get sacked.”

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Haas boss summonsed to stewards

“You cannot get sacked, because you don’t get paid. I think we need to step it up. I think that’s now time. We’re discussing this for years and years. And we always go back to this.”

“Every other sport has professional referees. American racing – NASCAR, IndyCar – how many times do you hear problems with the stewards or with the race director’s decision? Very rarely. Very rarely.”

Steiner has now been summonsed to the stewards office prior to the qualifying session at the Spanish GP.



“Moral injury” alleged to the FIA

The FIA has cited an “Alleged breach of Articles 12.2.1.c, 12.2.1.f and 12.2.1.k of the FIA International Sporting Code during a media conference conducted on June 1, 2023.”

This includes sections specifying “Any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any Competition or to the interests of motor sport generally.”

Article 12.2.1.f is potentially the most severe of the allegations and provides for punishment for “Any words, deeds, or writings that have caused moral injury or loss to the FIA, its bodies, its members or its executive officers, and more generally on the interest of motorsport and on the values defended by the FIA.”

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Steward retires from Steiner hearing

The final article cited covers any, “Misconduct towards, but not limited to: licence-holders, officials, officers or members of the staff of the FIA.

Gunther must appear before the stewards at 14:30 local time however one of the FIA’s representatives has indicated he will retire from the session due to a conflict of interest.

Felix Holter will be replaced by Matthew Selley for the hearing, as Holter was a steward during the Monaco Grand Prix. He will be reinstated following the hearing for the subsequent track sessions at the Spanish GP.

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2 responses to “F1 steward retires after being slammed by Steiner

  1. The only people I’d consider for stewardship of races would be ex drivers, who understand the nuances of on track racing decisions. Attempting to read the minds of drivers or explaining their actions after an incident has always lead to bad outcomes.

  2. Moral injury??? I think morale injury is what happened here. Someone’s feelings got hurt, perhaps rightly so. The stewarding this year HAS been inconsistent and occasionally unfair, in my opinion. Was Gunther simply speaking out because someone else in the FIA wasn’t doing THEIR job. Who has oversight for the stewards? Who is permitted or tasked to evaluate their performance and deliver a performance report? Is there anyone??? I think the stewarding crew should be the same for the entire season and they should be ex-open wheel drivers, and they should be subject to review and replacement if they are not up to the task.

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