MARCH 20, 2002
Stewards get more powers
JUST days after the controversial decision to give Juan Pablo Montoya a "drive-through" penalty for his involvement in the first corner clash with Michael Schumacher - a punishment which both men concluded was rather too harsh - the FIA has given the stewards of the meetings even greater powers. In the future the stewards can move a driver 10 places backwards on the grid of the next race if they consider he deserves punishment for an incident in the race for which they are the stewards.
These new powers will undoubtedly cause controversy at some point in the future.
The new rule takes effect immediately and is designed to stop drivers becoming involved in avoidable incidents. The problem which remains is that the stewards have to have sufficient credibility to inflict such penalties and at the moment some of the existing stewards are not held in the highest possible esteem by the competitors.
The FIA, however, argues that the new rule will be the same for everybody and so there should not be any controversy.
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