Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) president Andrew Mallalieu is facing a busy few weeks of travelling as he attends three of the next six races on the Grand Prix calendar as an FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) steward. And his continuing commitment to the work of the world governing body reflects well on the BMF, and on the island, one of the smallest nations affiliated to the FIA.
Mallalieu will officiate as a Formula 1 steward at the Austrian GP on July 9, and also, for the first time, as F2 steward, in Monaco (May 27) and Hungary (July 30). In addition to his work as a steward, Mallalieu has been a member of the Rallies Commission, representing North America and the Caribbean, since 2010, a position he was invited to take up by the then-new FIA President Jean Todt, who was keen to involve more younger delegates. He is also a director of NACAM, which encompasses 14 FIA-affiliated countries in the region.
When Todt subsequently visited Barbados during a regional tour of FIA member countries, he said: “You are small, but you are big for the FIA. I want you to know that Barbados is an important member of our international organisation in sport, and in mobility, where your representatives Andrew Mallalieu and John Sealy each play a role in our business.” Of the FIA’s 135 member countries, Barbados is one of only 10 with a population of below 1 million and, with more than 300 competition licences issued each year, it also has arguably the most active motor sport community per head of the population of any country in the world.
The FIA Formula 2 Championship is the new title for what has been known as GP2 in recent years. Two races are run on the Friday and Saturday of 10 grand prix weekends, with the penultimate round in October a stand-alone double-header at Jerez in Spain. Monaco and Hungary are rounds three and seven of the 11.
Mallalieu’s appointments lead him to three new events, including the iconic Monaco GP at Monte Carlo on the Mediterranean. Although he will miss Flow King of the Hill, in which he finished 12th overall and won Group N last year in his Terra Caribbean Subaru Impreza N10, he is nevertheless looking forward to the trip.
“I have never been to Monaco, but am told it is a very special experience.
In addition, as I am one of the F2 stewards that weekend, my duties will be over on Saturday, which means I will be able to soak up the atmosphere of Grand Prix day. Of course Jenson Button is returning to McLaren-Honda that weekend, while Fernando Alonso competes in the Indy 500. With Jenson recently confirmed as Guest of Honour at the Barbados Festival of Speed in October, it will be an ideal opportunity to catch up.”
After two years of training as an ‘understudy’ to qualified senior stewards – he attended two grands prix a season for two years – Mallalieu became the first-ever FIA Formula 1 steward from the English-speaking Caribbean and one of a body of only around 20 F1 stewards worldwide. After being awarded his FIA Super Licence in 2014, Mallalieu’s first GP was at Montreal in Canada, since when he has officiated in Abu Dhabi and Spain, also twice each in Brazil and Great Britain.
He also attended the FIA’s first World Championship Stewards Programme in Geneva in February, a two-day seminar split into numerous sessions, including detailed discussions on case studies. These were designed not only to refresh everyone’s knowledge of the FIA’s judicial and disciplinary structure and ensure consistent decision-making, but also to provide an opportunity for stewards to provide their own input about the regulations and the manner in which they work. From the beginning of next year, all FIA stewards will be required to have participated in the programme, with Mallalieu now among those who will only be required to complete a refresher programme every three years.
Mallalieu concluded: “While there is a lot of time and travel involved, the experience I am gaining feeds in to the work of our own BMF-appointed personnel, so keeping us in tune with International standards and motor sport continues to grow in the island.”