Hill has doubts over benefits of driver stewards
- Monaco Grand Prix
- FIA Formula One World Championship
Damon Hill is no longer sure former drivers should be acting as full FIA stewards at grands prix.
The 1996 world champion said he has been receiving "hate mail" ever since he and the three regular stewards signed off on a 20-second time penalty in the wake of Michael Schumacher's late pass on Fernando Alonso in Monaco. In 2010, a new initiative by FIA president Jean Todt has seen former drivers including Alain Prost, Alex Wurz, Derek Warwick and Johnny Herbert act as stewards.
Hill admitted his former title nemesis Schumacher had a "wry smile" when he walked into the stewards room in the wake of the Monaco incident. He told British newspapers he has been receiving "stinging emails" accusing him of prejudice ever since.
"I was uncomfortable being put in that position of being a full FIA representative," he said. "My expertise is as a driver rather than a lawmaker or interpreter of regulations. Partly my discomfort was because I was called on to make a ruling on an incident involving Michael. I know most people will believe me when I say I acted entirely properly and correctly, but perhaps it might be more appropriate for drivers to act as consultants to the stewards rather than as stewards."
Schumacher said he believes Hill would have acted appropriately.
"I know Damon. He is a good guy," said the German.