Ben Sulayem says post-Michael Masi race control is “only a bandage”

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FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem says the race control arrangement put into place following the removal of former race director Michael Masi, is not a long-term solution.

As is already well known, at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race director Michael Masi ignored the rules which govern the use of the Safety Car, and basically handed Max Verstappen the world title on a silver platter.

As a result of this controversial finish, Masi was removed from the position of race director by the FIA, and his job was taken over by rotating race directors Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas.

However, Wittich and Freitas have both come under fire from teams a drivers for some of their decisions, such as their clampdown on track limit violations and drivers wearing jewellery in the car.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem says the current race control arrangement is not a permanent solution.

“I would like that the Federation, if the President is gone tomorrow or whatever happens, it’s not relying on me or relying on a person, it has to rely on a team,” he said.


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“And that’s the only way we can make it sustainable. In one of my interviews I said where can I get race directors? I cannot go and Google them, or go on Amazon. You have to create them.

“And I don’t want to end up by just having [one]. God bless his soul, I mean, we had a great loss with Charlie, but then we didn’t have someone else. It cannot be like that, we should have more than one.

“I tell you what happened this year, it’s a bandage, it’s not a cure, and it’s not a permanent fix. This is only a bandage, because we have to fill up the gaps.

“And then you have the stewards, we have to define also the stewards and train them,” Ben Sulayem concluded.

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