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Otley man keeps F1 stars in check but witnesses madness on the roads
Steve Stringwell has described being a steward at the recent Indian Formula One Grand Prix as a “wonderful experience.”
He was one of three officials working alongside former world champions driver Alan Jones to ensure the top stars kept to the rules at the impressive New Delhi circuit.
“It was a relatively easy race to officiate,” said Stringwell. “There was just one major incident for us to deal with when we had to call Michael Schumacher in after he was alleged to have ignored blue flags.”
These are waved by the race marshals to make drivers aware that somebody is looking to overtake them.
Lotus driver Roman Grosjean had complained that Schumacher had ignored the flags and prevented him from overtaking.
Stringwell said: “Michael told us he had seen the flags but didn’t feel that Grosjean was close enough to overtake.
“As a result we examined the camera footage from the front of Grosjean’s car and we all agreed with Schumacher’s view so no penalty was imposed.”
The Otley driving instructor was less impressed with the driving on the streets of Delhi.
“It is total chaos,” he said. “I saw women carrying young babies riding on the back of motorbikes in Delhi with no helmet on.
“Just about everybody was sounding their horn. It was absolute madness, but just like the race, visiting India was something I won’t forget.”