McNish gets lesson in F1 race Stewardship
Allan McNish admits that he has seen Formula 1’s FIA stewards in a different light since being part of the panel in Monaco at the weekend. Prior to his return at the Hungaroring in July, the Scot has shared his view of events in the famed Principality.
“It changes my opinion a little bit on how the system works because, obviously, when you are a driver then you are usually taken into the stewards room for negative reasons,” the Scot explained to India’s F1Pulse.
“Every time I have been to them it’s never been a kind of congratulations, pat-on-the-back visit. You then understand that actually they have got the overall global view, a much better view than you have through your visor.
“There are four stewards in the room and one of them is a driver steward. The other three are very high ranking stewards. No question, they have been there and been doing it for a long, long period of time. It requires an agreement of all the stewards for decisions to be made. So the driver is there as a physical steward signing documents.
“It was very eye-opening. I did not appreciate it until I did it - the level of detail, information, videos, data, everything that the stewards have available to them. I didn't appreciate the amount of work they do in terms of investigating possible incidents, looking at things, checking things, ensuring a smooth running of it, prior to anything being brought to their attention!
“I didn't appreciate all the working behind the scenes of not just the stewards but also the Race Director (Charlie Whiting) and all of the other parts. Because you're on the other side of the fence looking through your helmet and visor, you see a narrow view of it. It was illuminating for me to see all the other aspects coming into play.”
Prior to the Monaco event, F1’s media was confused as McNish was confirmed as the driver steward, despite the FIA’s official press kit naming four-time Champion Alain Prost.
“I know Alain couldn't do it,” explained the Toyota driver of 2002. “I don't know the reason behind it. They called me and asked me if I was able to do it. It clashed a little bit I was doing something with Audi (but) it's also an extremely close event for me. I could walk over there and in five minutes I would be in the paddock.”