FIA president Jean Todt's push to use experienced drivers as race stewards in Formula 1 has been deemed a huge success by one of the men who helped fulfill that role in 2010.
Eight-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen joined the race stewards' panel at the Australian Grand Prix last year as part of a new FIA-initiative to get a drivers' perspective when making rulings on incidents. With a host of former F1 stars helping out over the course of the campaign – including Alain Prost, Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell and Alan Jones – teams and drivers were all impressed with the impact it made.
Kristensen has echoed those thoughts, claiming that the presence of drivers also ensured that F1's current crop did not try things on when they were called up in front of the stewards.
"It was a really good thing to put a driver within the stewards' rooms," Kristensen said. "It made the decision better for all last year. With the other drivers who were there, it put in the knowledge and no [F1] driver could cheat about what was going on. It made things fair and it made things better for the decision makers."
The FIA confirmed at the end of last year that the use of drivers on the stewards' panels would continue in F1 in 2011, as well as being expanded to other championships.