For the first time this season, Eduardo Freitas will serve as the race director for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona next week.
This year, Freitas is sharing race control duties with Niels Wittich, who held the position for the first five F1 races of the 2022 season.
Both directors rely on each other to function as deputy director at F1 race weekends, but that role was assigned to FIA official Colin Haywood in Bahrain and also last weekend in Miami because both events interfered with Freitas’ WEC commitments.
Freitas will carry on as race director for the Monaco Grand Prix, but will pass over the baton to Wittich for Baku because the race overlaps with the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Wittich has distinguished himself in the first five races of 2022 by taking a no-nonsense, straight-forward approach to enforcing the rules, a stance that has been well received by the teams.
“From my point of view the new set-up with Niels and also Eduardo had a very good start going into this new era of F1,” said McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl.
“Niels is quite straightforward in terms of making sure that the rules get enforced, he’s also quite straightforward in terms of getting across what he’s expecting and that’s what I personally like.
“At the same time, he is always available for a dialogue and for constructive input as well, if you think things need to be reconsidered, and from this point of view, when I look now how these first races went, I think we are in a good place.”
Wittich’s decision to implement a regulation from the FIA’s International Sporting Code that prohibits drivers from wearing jewellery or non-compliant underpants while out on the circuit was questioned.
According to some, the rule was directed at seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who felt Wittich’s move was “a step backwards” for the sport.
“I think we’ve got bigger fish to fry, bigger things to do, more impact to have, so I think that’s really where the focus should be,” said Hamilton in Miami.