Hill: I have received some stinging emails
18 May 2010 – Damon Hill has revealed that he has been sent a string of emails criticising his judgements after Michael Schumacher was handed a 20-second penalty after Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix. Hill was acting as an FIA steward for the first time, keeping up the governing body's new-for-2010 initiative.
A number of drivers, including fellow Champion Alain Prost and race winner Johnny Herbert, have served as stewards in Race Control this year although it is a large irony that Hill - Schumacher's closest championship rival of 1994 and 1995 - was playing a role in Race Control for Monte-Carlo.
With Schumacher having suffered a drop of six places as a result of the punishment, stewards had been following article 40.13 of the FIA Sporting Regulations, which states the following:
'If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.'
"It was a fascinating experience but I wonder whether it is right that drivers are put in the position of interpreting the regulations," Hill told The Times. "I imagined I would be there as a consultant, providing driver insight to the stewards, who would then make the decisions - my expertise is as a driver rather than a lawmaker or interpreter of regulations."
Furthermore, the 1996 title winner admits that he felt slightly intimidated when the incident involving Schumacher and Fernando Alonso came to light. "Partly, of course, my discomfort was because I was called to make a ruling on an incident involving Michael," Damon continued. "I acted entirely properly but I have already received some stinging emails accusing me of prejudice."