Mohammed Ben Sulayem promises better officials in Formula 1

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem says “you cannot have just one race director and rely on them, we should prepare a second role”.

After Michael Masi was removed from the position of race director, following his controversial decisions at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the FIA decided to replace him by a rotating team of Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich in 2022.

After under Freitas’ watch a crane was released onto the track, while drivers were still driving at speed in wet conditions at the Japanese Grand Prix, the FIA decided that Wittich would be the race director in the final four races of the season.

This caused some observers to say that it would be better to have only one race director for all events, but FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem now says it’s definitely better to rely on more than one person.

“There is a process now, and I have a team that is going through a proper process and training for stewarding, and for race directors,” Ben Sulayem said.

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“You cannot have just one race director and rely on them, we should prepare a second role. We cannot rely [on just one person], in the biggest discipline that we have, or any other discipline.

“What if something happened? If we are going to sustain motorsport, we have to be ready with training.”

Ben Sulayem then said he is looking at various national motorsport authorities to find potential candidates for the job.

“I am a big believer that there is, somewhere in the world, better race directors than anyone, better stewards.

“Now we are reaching out to the ASNs [National Sporting Authorities] and we are asking them to send us people for the training, and we have a proper team now for the training.

“You will get good [officials], I promise this,” he concluded.

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