Mick Doohan says he’s not scheduled to be a driver steward again this year despite enjoying his first taste of the role in Malaysia.
The five-times 500cc World Champion was invited to take on the job by Jean Todt and Charlie Whiting.
“Jean spoke to me last year, and then Charlie,” Doohan told this writer. “So I thought why not? I’ll give it a go. At this point in time I’m not intending to do any more, but you never know. We’ll take it one step at a time. I agreed to do it because Malaysia is just up the road, the track is nice and wide and fairly flowing.
“Compared to the bikes, the race control is more high tech. We don’t have a lot of the communications that F1 has – all the data that you can retrieve from the cars. So really a job like mine as a race driver’s steward is trying to find out the mental side of it. Bikes and cars, the only difference is it’s a bit harder to do anything too intentional on a bike because you’re going to take yourself out as well. Other than that the logic behind it is very similar.”
Doohan says he was fascinated to see F1 up close: “I’ve not done much behind the scenes in F1 so it’s interesting to get my head around how it all operates. I’ve seen it from the outside for many years, and been involved with the Australia Grand Prix Corporation as a board member, but this was a bit different.
“Other than being involved with Dorna as an advisor, and being chairman of karting in Austraia, I’ve not really done too much. But at the end of the day the job description is pretty straightforward.”
4 responses to “Mick Doohan: Malaysian GP steward role a one-off”
I really think they should stick to driver stewards with F1 experience. I don’t accept the assumption that a bike champion automatically knows the intricacies of how F1 cars should and shouldn’t race each other. Did his bikers view about never touching result in penalties for moves an ex F1 driver would have passed off as racing incidents?
Every F1 armchair observer takes the assumption he/she knows *everything* about what proper F1 racing should be about. Almost all know categorically who is to be blamed as who is innocent by their ‘deep’ understanding.
So, I don’t see a reason why a former professional racer, 5 times world champion and one of the greatest riders in history can’t do it.
Definitely a good case could be made that the penalties on both Force India drivers were unwarranted; Grosjean was making an aggressive outside pass on Perez and Hulk was definitely still in the fight for the corner, and subsequent corners, with Kyvat, when Danil slashed to the apex to close a door where Hulk already has a foot through; the old adage “you have to give room” would apply. Both seemed more like non-fault racing accidents then penalties against the F.I. drivers, at the least. You get over-aggressive and you’ll likely have to withstand a bump or two to pull it off.