Tuesday, 23 April 2013 14:37
Stewards told to be lenient in 'secret' Formula 1 meeting - In a 'secret' meeting over the winter, it was agreed that FIA Formula One race stewards should impose less penalties in 2013 in order to spice up the action.
That is the claim on Tuesday of Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, reporting that the meeting with FIA president Jean Todt was attended by drivers including world champion Sebastian Vettel, team managers, Charlie Whiting and stewards.
"Has it been noticed?" wrote correspondent Michael Schmidt. "The drivers are being punished much less."
He said the outcome of the pre-season meeting was that stewards should be more lenient when it comes to applying penalties for on-track scraps, in order to entice the drivers to take more risks in the heat of exciting wheel banging fights for position.
Schmidt said it is undeniable that there have been "surprisingly few" drive through and grid penalties so far in 2013 as the result of obvious incidents.
"It has made the racing better," he wrote.
"You can feel that the drivers have more confidence. Rarely have we seen as much die hard, wheel to wheel battles as we saw in Bahrain," added Schmidt.