How They Are Damaging the Sport

Criticism of Formula 1 stewards persists, with former steward Joaquín Verdegay acknowledging issues of control and direction rather than discrimination, amid controversies including a non-penalized incident involving Lewis Hamilton in Miami, reflecting broader concerns about the sport’s governance and spectacle.


– ‣ Criticism of Formula 1 stewards has persisted over the years, with dissatisfaction continuing even after leadership changes from Michael Masi to Niels Wittich.
– ‣ Joaquín Verdegay, a former F1 steward, acknowledges the criticism and expresses concern over the lack of control and direction among the stewards, fearing it ruins the sport.
– ‣ A specific incident in Miami involving Lewis Hamilton not receiving a penalty for forcing other drivers to swerve, leading to Lando Norris‘s race ending, sparked controversy and claims of unfair treatment.
– ‣ Verdegay disagrees with the notion of discrimination against Spanish drivers but admits to the complexity of the regulations and suggests that the spectacle of the race is prioritized over sporting fairness.

Oh, the drama of Formula 1 never takes a day off, does it? For years, the stewards have been in the hot seat. And it didn’t magically get better after Michael Masi waved goodbye and Niels Wittich stepped up. Nope. Drivers and teams still side-eye their decisions, wondering what’s up.

Joaquín Verdegay, who’s seen it all from the inside as a former F1 steward, totally gets the beef. He’s nodding along with the critics, saying, “Yep, there’s something off here.”

Then there was Miami. Oh, Miami. Lewis Hamilton, in a burst of zeal, caused a bit of chaos. Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll had to dodge, weave, and basically do everything but fly to avoid a tangle. Poor Lando Norris wasn’t so lucky. His race ended right there. But a penalty for Hamilton? Nowhere in sight. Alonso, at 42 and still fiery, couldn’t help but wonder aloud if his Spanish passport had something to do with it.

### Stewards receive criticism again

When Verdegay chatted with ‘A Diario’, he was clear: “It’s not about being Spanish or not. It’s the confusion, the lack of a clear path forward that’s troubling.” And then, almost thinking out loud, he questioned the decision to halt races at the first sign of rain. “Are we killing the spirit of the sport?” he pondered, worried that the thrill of racing is getting lost in overly cautious decisions.

Alonso’s gripes about Miami? Verdegay found them totally valid. The rules can be a maze, sure, but not everything deserves a flag. “In China? No penalty for Alonso. In Miami? No penalty for Hamilton,” he stated, firm in his belief. To him, F1 races are turning into something else—a spectacle, a party. He half-joked that the Miami Grand Prix seemed more about selling nachos than burning rubber.

It’s a mix of opinions, a stew of perspectives. But one thing’s clear: the debate around F1’s stewards and their decisions? Far from over.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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