Stewards’ penalty frenzy ‘ridiculous’

Tue, 14 October 2008, 10:11

Oct.14 (GMM) Another former F1 racer has backed Gerhard Berger’s view that “too many penalties” are being dished out by controversial FIA stewards in 2008

“In the 20 years I’ve been involved in F1 as a driver and spectator I don’t think I’ve seen so many penalties in one season,” the former McLaren driver Mark Blundell, who is now an analyst for Britain’s television coverage, wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph

At Fuji Speedway last weekend, championship contenders Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa received penalties for on-track incidents, as did Sebastien Bourdais for what appeared a normal racing collision

“It’s political correctness gone mad. An important point is being missed: these guys are racing tooth and nail. Things happen when racing at 200mph,” Blundell, 42, said

“I understand the concern about safety but this is getting ridiculous. We might as well dig two grooves around each circuit, put two cars side by side like a Scalextric set and let someone control the action from the pits

“The authorities are losing the plot,” he charged

Bourdais’ 25-second time penalty, costing him his championship points and handing Ferrari’s Massa another point, was undoubtedly the most contentious in Japan

Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport contends that the decision even contradicted race director Charlie Whiting’s instruction — that drivers emerging from the pitlane have right of way over those already on the track

“It was a normal racing incident. The decision was ridiculous,” the magazine said

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