Hakkinen: Time for a rule change and permanent FIA stewards

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Former F1 driver Mika Hakkinen believes the time has come for F1 and the FIA to work out how to let drivers race but also to consider the appointment of permanent stewards.

Hakkinen rightly states that no one was happy with last Sunday's decision to penalize Sebastian Vettel for his move in the Canadian Grand Prix and impact the outcome of the race.

Looking back at his own on-track battles, the Finn believes many of his wheel-to-wheel fights with his rivals would have been frowned upon by stewards by today's standards.

"When I look back at my racing career in Formula 1, I think Michael Schumacher and I had more freedom to race," Hakkinen said in his post-race column for Unibet.

"Maybe there were not so many cameras picking up everything that we did.

"There would have been a lot of 5-second penalties, or worse, if we had been racing with today’s rules.

"The FIA has done amazing work in order to make the sport so much safer, while the Stewards have a tough job to do, often under a lot of pressure.

"However, I do think that the drivers, teams, FIA and Formula 1 itself need to work out how to let drivers race, recognising that sometimes you need to be realistic and think about the sport’s reputation.

"No one was happy on Sunday. The penalty ended the battle for the lead, and penalised everyone watching Formula 1."

The FIA's current stewarding regime calls for a rotation among stewards to fulfill the four-man team - including one driver steward - that judges the action on the track.

Hakkinen, like many others, sees no reason why at least three members of that group can't be appointed on a permanent basis.

"I think perhaps it is time for Formula 1 to consider the possibility of appointing three permanent Stewards, perhaps with a driver acting as a fourth Steward or advisor," said the two-time world champion.

"I am not questioning the ability of the Stewards in Canada, but the sport might benefit from having the same people to regulate each Grand Prix."

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