Mercedes Formula 1 driver George Russell said he and his peers were pushing for a more cohesive distribution of stewards and a single race director, and that was a topic of discussion during the heated driver briefing of the Friday which led to Sebastian Vettel being summoned to the stewards. .
Russell and the Aston Vettel driver are the two directors of the F1 Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, which also has a chairman in former Grand Prix driver Alex Wurz.
Vettel had to face the stewards over his conduct at Friday’s meeting, having been deemed a potential breach of the ISC International Sporting Code.
Asked about Vettel’s call-up, Russell passed up the opportunity to comment on that particular decision, but spoke more generally – his words indicating that this latest point of contention was linked to the British GP and the interpretation of the racing rules by the stewards during this weekend. to battles involving Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton, as well as Max Verstappen and Mick Schumacher.
“I think it’s very difficult for the FIA, very difficult for the drivers, there have been a lot of limit decisions or maneuvers, whether it’s defense or track limits in a racing scenario like last weekend at Silverstone,” Russell said.
“We don’t want to give penalties left right and down the middle but there has to be an element of consistency somewhere, I think we have to look at the root cause of the issues and with these track limits the issue is the circuit.
“We are never going to solve this problem until you solve the circuit, and turn 4 here in Austria, you will never have this problem. [because of the gravel]but compare that to Turn 1 or Silverstone last week, you’ll still have the problem, so yeah.
“I agree that we need to stick to one race director, we need to have more consistency with the marshals. We come to the next event and often the steward from the previous event is not there. therefore there are no accounts to render or no explanations of the decisions.
“We ask questions and it’s hard to get a straight answer because I wouldn’t say blame, but the blame is on someone else who isn’t there. It’s tricky, everyone has their own interpretations.
A rotating cast of stewards is nothing new for F1, but the two race directors this year are new. With Michael Masi dismissed after last year’s controversial Abu Dhabi final, the role is now filled by either Eduardo Freitas or Niels Wittich from weekend to weekend.
“Everyone learns, we learn how new race directors react, they learn what we want and need as drivers,” continued Russell.
“I don’t envy them, it’s by no means an easy job, but I guess we just want consistency.
“Yesterday was just a meeting where we talked about specific topics, but over the year a number of riders have commented on that. When you had a race director, things were consistent.
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