After the controversial final race in Abu Dhabi, Michael Masi was paused by the FIA. Instead, the Motorsport Association opted for Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich. The original plan was for them to alternate as race director and supervisor every two races. However, the current F1 schedule is jeopardized by Freita’s involvement in the WEC Championship. As a result, he missed the Bahrain GP and the Miami race earlier this season. Colin Haywood acted as a supporter at both events.
Wittich showed a clear approach in the opening races. His message is that rules are in black and white and must be followed. This can count on the appreciation of F1 teams who now know where they stand. “I think the line-up with Niels and Eduardo is a very good move in this new era,” said McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl. “Niels is straightforward when it comes to enforcing the rules, as is communicating his expectations. I like that myself. At the same time, he’s always there for dialogue and constructive input when you think something needs to be done. ” are being reconsidered. From that point of view and looking at how the first races went, I think we’re on the right track now.”
However, there were already points of discussion. At the team principals’ meeting in Miami on Friday, Wittich had to be persuaded by those present that he had misinterpreted the rules for using DRS at Imola. Wittich has also shown that he often prefers to drive a virtual safety car over driving to a full safety car. Some were surprised when he did so during the Miami race following Lando Norris’ crash with a damaged car and debris on the track. In addition, Wittich has also been involved in a number of issues that have frustrated F1 drivers, including the ban on jewelry and unapproved underwear.
Barcelona is theoretically an easy location for Freitas to start. His second race in Monaco will be an endurance test, also because it will be a logistical challenge.