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Hamilton calls for more ‘unbiased’ stewards in Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton called for more “unbiased” officials in Formula 1 as McLaren’s Lando Norris set the fastest time on Wednesday on the opening day of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Ahead of the new 2022 season, Hamilton said some stewards are too close to certain drivers. He also said there should be more female officials on the track.

The seven-time world champion was dramatically snatched to the title by Max Verstappen in December, when Hamilton and Mercedes claimed Red Bull had influenced decisions in a hugely controversial final race in Abu Dhabi.

Race director Michael Masi has since been removed, and the role has now been split in two.

Asked if the change would lead to better decision-making, Hamilton said: “We need to make sure we also have unbiased stewards.

“Race drivers, some are very, very good friends with certain individuals, some travel with some, and some have a greater preference for some.

“I think (F1) needs people who are non-biased and super central when it comes to making decisions.”

F1 races usually have four stewards to assist race control in reviewing incidents on the track. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has recoiled from Hamilton’s accusations of bias.

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

Red Bull’s Christian Horner said: “I agree with Toto that I don’t think there is any bias. I don’t know of any stewards who travel with drivers to races.”

Hamilton said there should also be more female stewards to increase diversity in the sport.

“It would be great to have a man and a woman as two race directors,” he said.

The 37-year-old spoke on the first day of the preseason at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya before getting into the new Mercedes W13 car in the afternoon.

Hamilton recorded the fifth fastest time of the day, with 1 min 20,929 sec.

“I feel the freshest I’ve ever had,” he said. “Of course there are so many different ways you can refocus and refocus, and I’d say this break was one of the best I’ve ever experienced.”

“It was definitely more about being present and in the moment, and creating memories,” said Hamilton, who used his break to spend time with his family.

“I know that sometimes in life we ​​get so focused and stuck on certain things, like work, that we forget to do those things.

“So it was a great time, just refreshing with the family. It was the best time I’ve ever had with my family.”

In the opening run for the heavily redesigned cars, Norris set a time of 1:19.568 in the afternoon session, overshadowing the morning’s fastest time of 1:20.165 set by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Hamilton only completed 50 laps, while Verstappen completed a total of 147, the most of any drivers, and his best time of 1:22.246 put him in ninth.


  1. Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren) 1min 19.568sec (101 laps), 2. Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:20.165 (80), 3. Carlos Sainz (ESP/Ferrari) 1:20.416 (73), 4. George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) 1:20.784 (77), 5. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:20.929 (50), 6. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Aston Martin) 1:21.276 (52), 7. Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri) 1:21.638 (121), 8. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Alpine) 1:21.746 (127), 9. Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) 1:22.246 (147), 10. Valtteri Bottas ( FIN/Alfa Romeo) 1:22.572 (23), 11. Alexander Albon (THA/Williams) 1:22.760 (66), 12. Mick Schumacher (GER/Haas) 1:22.926 (23), 13. Lance Stroll (CAN /Aston Martin) 1:23.327 (67), 14. Nicholas Latifi (CAN/Williams) 1:23.379 (66), 15. Nikita Mazepin (RAF/Haas) 1:24.505 (20), 16. Robert Kubica (POL/ Alfa Romeo) 1:25.909 (9)

Note: Kubica is a reserve driver

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