F1 stewards told to back off?

2013-04-24 09:00

MUNICH, Germany - A 'secret' meeting during the Formula 1 off-season break apparently agreed that race stewards should impose fewer penalties in 2013 'to spice up the action'.

That was, at least, what Germany's Auto Motor und Sport magazine reported came from an International Automobile Association meeting at which president Jean Todt addressed drivers - among them World champion Sebastian Vettel - team managers, race director Charlie Whiting and stewards.

"Has it been noticed?" asked correspondent Michael Schmidt. "The drivers are being punished much less."

He said the outcome of the meeting was that stewards were told to be more lenient when applying penalties for track scraps to entice the drivers to take more risks in wheel-to-wheel battles.

Schmidt said it was undeniable that there had been "surprisingly few" drive-through and grid penalties so far in 2013 despite obvious incidents.

"It has made the racing better," he admitted. "You can feel that the drivers have more confidence. Rarely have we seen so many die-hard, wheel-to-wheel battles as we saw in Bahrain."

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