Revealed: Race Stewards Office Relies on Single Courier Pigeon

Ryan Ashenhurst
Ryan Ashenhurst
Ryan Ashenhurst
Contributor

After taking three-and-a-half hours to decide not to take any further action on Rosberg’s pole position lap, we investigated the inner workings of the stewards office to find out why the hell it was taking so long for decisions to be processed.

Stepping into the stewards office is like taking a trip into the past. Everything is brown behind a film of cigar smoke, littered with FAX machines and other large electronic constructs from the 70’s. We found Charlie Whiting sitting atop a throne constructed out of carbon fibre shrapnel. We asked him why it had taken so long for a decision to be made, and he gestured for us to leave the room immediately. So we went back to our hotel in Budapest and waited.

The Steward's pigeon watches on.
The Steward’s pigeon watches on.

Seven hours later, there was a faint knocking noise at the window. Upon opening, a courier pigeon flew in and perched itself on a chair. It was wearing a miniature waistcoat donned in FIA paraphernalia, so we quizzically removed the small message wrapped around its foot.

It read,

“To answer your question, it is because we, the FIA, only have this single courier pigeon as a means of communication. It’s Bernie’s pet, and regulation 86.5.4 b-d states that we must only make major decisions via this bird.”

– Charlie Whiting

We sent the pigeon back with our own further question, but are yet to receive a response. Our belief is that the pigeon is currently being used to sort out the 107% rule with some of the drivers from earlier today in Qualifying. The problem here is, the final decision by the race stewards on that issue will probably only reach a conclusion after the race tomorrow.

We tried to sell the power of the internet and instant messaging to one of the race stewards later, but he insisted that Bernie’s bird was the only way forward and the “way we’ve always done it.”

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