F1 needs "non-biased stewards" - Mercedes' Hamilton
Speaking ahead of the start of the 2022 season, Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton suggested there is a problem with Formula One stewards favouring some drivers over others.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says Formula One must make sure there is "no bias" from stewards as the sport prepares for its 2022 season.
Hamilton lost 2021 F1 title after contentious call by race director
Hamilton was beaten by Red Bull's Max Verstappen in a contentious conclusion to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after race director Michael Masi elected to allow a series of cars to pass a late safety car, permitting one lap of racing with the Dutchman on new tyres.
Masi has since been removed from his role, while rumours abounded that Hamilton could leave the sport, though the seven-time world champion last week confirmed he would be racing once again for Mercedes this season.
Two new race directors will share the role Masi has vacated.
At the first testing session in Barcelona ahead of the new campaign, which starts on 20 March in Bahrain, Hamilton was asked if the changes would result in more consistent decision-making.
"We need to make sure we have non-biased stewards, too," the 37-year-old said.
"Racing drivers, some are 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 [we need] people who have no bias, are super central when it comes to making decisions."
Wolff, Horner disagree with Hamilton: No bias from stewards
Hamilton's belief is not shared by his team's boss, Toto Wolff, however.
"I think we need professionalism in the stewards' room," said Wolff in a news conference. "I don't think there is a conscious bias to be honest. It's intelligent people."
Red Bull's Christian Horner, who has a not-so-secret rivalry with his Mercedes counterpart, agreed.
"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," he added.
"In [FIA president] Mohammed [ben Sulayem] we have a new president that is looking to bolster the structure and bring in an equivalent of a VAR [video assistant referee, used in football], and I think giving a better infrastructure for clearer decisions with clearer regulations is something that should be strived for.
"But I certainly don't think there was any bias from any stewards during the last seasons."
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