Formula 1 is about to see another major change with the FIA president indicating the appointment of new race directors around the corner.
Following the 2021 F1 season’s controversial ending, a lot of things and rules were changed. One major change was brought into the decision-making and race control.
The governing body sacked then-race director Michael Masi to bring two race directors on the scene. This season duties of race direction were split between Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas.
Wittich comes from the background of DTM racing having been a director there too. Freitas on the other hand has also overseen Endurance Championship along with one of the most prestigious races in motorsports – the Le Mans.
However, the tide seems to be shifting against the duo.
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem hints at another axing
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem was asked about the future of the two race directors in the sport. Speaking to a Spanish newspaper, Sulayem just responded by saying “no”. However, he insisted that having two race directors is better for F1:
“There is a process underway. We have a team working on the training of commissioners and race directors. You cannot have just one (director). I think you have to have a second option.”
“We cannot trust ourselves because what if something happens “We have to be prepared for any contingency if we want to strengthen our sport. I always believe that there is someone better in the world, a better marshal, a better race director… our team is training them and I promise you, and you are recording me, that we will have them.”
Freitas was highly criticized after the crane incident during the Japanese GP. Wittick can also face the sacking due to the way he handled the post-race penalties during the US GP. Haas had appealed against Fernando Alonso after half an hour of race completion. And according to the rules any appeal after that time is passed is not considered valid. However, Alonso was awarded a 30-second post-race penalty even after Haas complained 24 minutes past the official time.
Reports indicate Wittick incorrectly told Haas that they can appeal until 1 hour after the completion of a race. The penalty against Alonso was later revoked after the protest from Alpine.
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