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Alonso's Critique F1 More Party Than Sport Says Steward

Alonso’s Critique: F1 More Party Than Sport, Says Steward

08/05/2024

Former FIA steward Joaquín Verdegay supports Alonso’s view that F1 races focus more on spectacle than sport.

Criticism of the race stewards has been a long-standing issue in Formula 1.

Even since Michael Masi’s departure and Niels Wittich’s succession, the stewards still struggle to maintain consistency in the eyes of the drivers and teams.

Joaquín Verdegay, a former F1 steward, fully agrees with these criticisms.

Joaquín Verdegay

In Miami, Fernando Alonso even claimed a lack of impartiality, suggesting that Lewis Hamilton got away without a penalty after his start in the Sprint “because he isn’t Spanish.”

“Of course, Alonso’s complaints are legitimate. The rules can be difficult to interpret, but he’s not saying that everything that happens should be penalized. I wouldn’t have given Alonso a penalty in China. But I wouldn’t have given Hamilton a penalty in Miami as he demanded.”

“Races have become more of a party than a sports spectacle, making it feel like the Miami Grand Prix is a ‘happening’ organized to sell nacho platters.”

Regarding Alonso’s claim of bias, Verdegay does not go that far.

“I don’t believe there is discrimination against Spaniards; what there is, is a lack of control and a loss of steward management. This worries and saddens me.”

“But other points bother me. For instance, why have they stopped racing in the rain? Take the track limits. Drivers seem much happier if a machine sanctions them during the race rather than an official, because they believe the machine has no bias.”

“It feels like we’re ruining the sport.”

Alonso's Critique F1 More Party Than Sport Says Steward

Alonso’s Critique: F1 More Party Than Sport, Says Steward. Alonso’s Critique: F1 More Party Than Sport, Says Steward

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