What the sporting regulations say:
- At every Grand Prix meeting there are seven key race officials who monitor and control the activities of the stewards and marshals to ensure the smooth and safe running of the event in accordance with FIA regulations.
- Five of the seven officials are nominated by the FIA. These are the race director (currently Charlie Whiting), a permanent starter and three additional stewards, one of whom is nominated chairman and one of whom is an experienced former driver. The additional stewards must be FIA Super Licence holders.
- The other two key officials are nominated by the National Sporting Authority (ASN) of the country holding the race. These are the clerk of the course and an additional steward (who must be a national of the host nation). Both must be FIA Super Licence holders.
- The clerk of the course works in consultation with the race director, who has overriding authority. The race director directs the clerk of the course on how to instruct the stewards during the various practice, qualifying and race sessions.
- The race director and the clerk of the course, as well as the FIA technical delegate (currently Jo Bauer), must all be present at the event from 1000 on Thursday (Wednesday in Monaco) onwards.
- The race director, the clerk of the course and the chairman of the stewards must all be in radio contact while cars are on track. Furthermore, at these times the clerk of the course must be in the race-control headquarters and in radio contact with all of the marshals' posts.