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FIA reject Lewis Hamilton’s criticism of ‘biased’ stewards

Lewis Hamilton’s accusations of possible bias among race stewards has provoked a quick response from the FIA.

The Mercedes man spoke on Wednesday about a lack of diversity in the stewards’ room, calling for more female representation among those in the hotseats, adding that it “would be awesome to have a male and female as the two race directors.”

However, he also added his claim that some individuals currently in position failed to always take an objective view on situations, allowing their personal feelings for drivers to get in the way of applying regulations.

“We need to make sure we’ve got non-biased stewards,” he said. “Race drivers, some are very, very good friends with certain individuals, some travel with some individuals, take a more keen liking to some.”

But the FIA rebutted his claims and backed the “independent” approach taken by all officials who partake on race days.

“The FIA is proud of its global stewarding pathway that connects and develops the most talented stewards from across motor sport,” the organisation told the Press Association.

“This has resulted in a strong, independent and experienced group of officials who carry out their work with impartiality and the utmost professionalism.”

Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff also played down Hamilton’s comments, while Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner noted that decisions going against teams was simply part of the sport, rather than because of any bias.

“I think we need professionalism in the stewards’ room,” said Wolff. “I don’t think there is a conscious bias, to be honest. It’s intelligent people.”

“We’ve all been on the receiving end of stewards’ decisions that we’ve been unhappy about,” Horner added.

“I would agree with Toto that I don’t think there’s an intended bias. I’m not aware of any stewards travelling with drivers to races.”

Horner further pointed to FIA president Mohammed bin Sulayem’s restructuring of race-day protocols when it came to decision-making, saying “better infrastructure for clearer decisions with clear regulations is something that should be strived for” in Formula One.

Hamilton also gave his backing to the team behind his Mercedes car, insisting they would deliver another vehicle capable of winning the championship, after he was pipped to last year’s title by Max Verstappen in the final lap in the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The British racer also said he supports the decision of drivers to no longer take a knee before races.

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