Freitas will make his debut in Spain as the director of the F1 race

Niels Wittich, who did the job for the first five races of the 2022 season, will move to a replacement spot in the Barcelona race.

Freitas will then remain in the lead role for next weekend’s race in Monaco, before focusing on Le Mans 24 Hours, which clashes with the next F1 event in Azerbaijan.

Following the overthrow of Michael Masi, the FIA ​​decided that Freitas and Wittich should alternate between race director and deputy director, with an informal plan to hold two races and two races outside.

However, the schedule is jeopardized by Freitas ’longstanding commitment to the WEC. He missed the opening of the Grand Prix of the season in Bahrain, as well as last weekend’s event in Miami.

On both occasions, FIA veteran Colin Haywood served as Wittich’s deputy.

The FIA ​​wanted to position Wittich and Freitas as if they were actually interchangeable and working as a team, and it didn’t matter which one had the main job over a particular weekend.

Wittich clearly imprinted his personality in the role in the introductory races, adopting nonsense and an inflexible approach.

Niels Wittich, race director, FIA

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Pictures of motorsport

His message that the rules are black and white and that they should be followed was generally appreciated by teams that know where they stand.

“From my point of view, the new setup with Niels and Eduardo had a very good start to this new F1 era,” McLaren pointed out team director Andreas Seidl in Miami.

“Niels is pretty simple in terms of making sure the rules are enforced. It’s also pretty simple in terms of conveying what you expect. And that’s what I personally like.

“And at the same time, he is always available for dialogue and constructive contribution if you think things need to be re-examined. And from this point of view, now that I look at how these first races went, I think we are in a good place. ”

However, there were some points of discussion. At a team manager meeting last Friday in Miami, Wittich had to convince attendees that he had misinterpreted the rules on the use of DRS during the Imola qualifiers.

He also showed that he often prefers to use a virtual safety car before going to a completely safe car. Some observers were surprised when he did so at the race in Miami afterwards Land Norris accidents, when there was a damaged car and debris on the track.

He was also involved in some issues that frustrated drivers, most notably his insistence on adhering to the FIA ​​International Sports Code and banning the wearing of jewelry and unapproved underwear.

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Barcelona would in theory be a relatively easy place for Freitas to start, with no obvious challenges associated with a new race in Miami, for example.

However, his second outing to Monaco will be a tough test as it is always a logistical challenge.

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