There’s not stopping the Schumacher fans from voicing their displeasure at the decision meted out to their hero for overtaking Fernando Alonso under the Safety Car conditions, with Damon Hill – the FIA-appointed drivers’ steward for the meeting – receiving “hate mail” from disgruntled fans ever since he ruled against the German after the race.

Damon Hill The new initiative launched by the FIA to utilise former drivers – including Alain Prost, Tom Kristensen, Johnny Herbert, Alexander Wurz, and Derek Warwick – as part of its race-to-race stewards panel has come under scrutiny for the first time since its inception, and has caused the 1996 World Champion to question its appropriateness.

Speaking with the British press, Hill said: "I was uncomfortable being put in that position of being a full FIA representative. My expertise is as a driver rather than a lawmaker or interpreter of regulations.”

He added: “Partly my discomfort was because I was called on to make a ruling on an incident involving Michael.

"I know most people will believe me when I say I acted entirely properly and correctly, but perhaps it might be more appropriate for drivers to act as consultants to the stewards rather than as stewards.”

Hill added that Schumacher had a “wry smile” when he visited the stewards room in the wake of the disputed incident, but the German was quick to give his support to one of his closest championship rivals in the mid-1990s.

"I know Damon. He is a good guy," said the German.

[Image via The Independent]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.