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FIA correct to spread race director role over "various shoulders"

FIA correct to spread race director role over "various shoulders"

F1 News

FIA correct to spread race director role over "various shoulders"

FIA correct to spread race director role over "various shoulders"
Sam Hall & Topher Smith

Williams team principal and CEO Jost Capito believes the FIA has done the right thing in allocating more than one person to the role of race director for the upcoming F1 season.

The sport's governing body announced Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas will alternate the role throughout the season following the removal of Michael Masi.

Capito believes the FIA has done “the right thing” in hiring more than one person for the job and welcomed the return of Herbie Blash, former deputy race director to the late Charlie Whiting.

“I think it is the right thing to put the job of the race director on various shoulders," said Capito. "Before, it was not on one shoulder.

“It was Charlie [Whiting], it was Herbie [Blash] and they got some support and then it got put on one shoulder.

"So I think that now it is sorted and not on one shoulder and with Herbie coming back with all his experience, I think it is very much appreciated.”

Formula 1’s version of football’s VAR "can help"

As well as the reshuffling of the race director role, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has introduced the Virtual Race Control Room to F1, akin to what football has in the Virtual Assistant Referee.

The Virtual Race Control Room has been created in order to help achieve more consistent decisions within the sporting regulations, which Capito sees as a positive step from a safety point of view if it does indeed work as intended.

“Let’s see how this additional video judging will work out. If it is done properly, it can help and last year saw how complex the race director’s situation is and how difficult it is to do the judgements," he added.

“You compare it to football, when they have the decision for a penalty or not, the game is interrupted. There is nothing happening. It is not a safety issue but in racing, it is very much about safety.

“So the race director has to be very careful about the safety. That is the first thing he has to look at and when he has to take a decision, there are cars out on the track. It is not the players sitting around and having a drink, they are still running so it is much more complex.

“So to put this on more shoulders, I think it is the right thing to do and I hope this system will get even more consistency and I think it is quite a big improvement. I think the process and the system has got better.”

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