FIA ‘make race director switch’ after Lewis Hamilton jewellery row escalated in Miami

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NIELS WITTICH is about to briefly step except for his FIA race director position after a troublesome weekend in Miami.

Max Verstappen makes delicate dig at Lewis Hamilton

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Niels Wittich is about to imagine the position of deputy race director in Spain, with Eduardo Freitas taking the highest job for the subsequent two Grands Prix. The duo had been chosen by the FIA to share the put up, which was held by Michael Masi alone final season, and Wittich has already had issues to take care of as Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel protested new rules in Miami. 

The FIA have cracked down on jewelry and underwear guidelines, a few of which have been in place for a while however hardly ever enforced. Hamilton and Vettel have hit again, nevertheless, as the previous identified that he has jewelry and piercings that can not be instantly eliminated and the latter claimed that he’s sufficiently old to make his personal choices on and off the observe. 

The dispute, which noticed Hamilton flip as much as a press convention coated in watches and chains as a type of protest, ended with the Brit being given a grace interval to get the piercings eliminated. The deadline is about for the Monaco Grand Prix later this month, however he has vowed to not observe the foundations and search an exemption for the remainder of the season.

FIA 'make race director switch' after Lewis Hamilton jewellery row escalated in Miami

Niels Wittich will briefly step except for his FIA race director position in Spain and Monaco (Picture: GETTY)

Extra battle must be handled by Freitas who, based on Motorsport, will step in for the subsequent two races. He and Wittich share the position on a casual two-on, two-off foundation after Masi was berated and axed for his half in final season’s controversial finale. 

As Freitas steps up, Wittich will assume the deputy race director position in Barcelona and Monaco. This season’s association has been interrupted by Freitas’ different racing commitments as he missed the opener in Bahrain and final weekend’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix. 

The FIA are evidently eager to make the position extra of a crew setting after the massive strain Masi got here underneath, and the embarrassment that got here along with his sacking. 

The brand new duo of Wittich and Freitas haven’t but needed to take care of the type of controversy that characterised final yr’s breathless title battle between Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Certainly, the seven-time champ is already too far again to mount a significant cost for the crown, and the Dutchman’s new rivalry with Charles Leclerc has not but produced the type of fireworks that will power a race director right into a high-stakes name. 

Having been within the position because the begin of the season, Wittich’s no-nonsense strategy is obvious and it stays to be seen whether or not Freitas will observe an analogous philosophy when he takes the reins. McLaren boss Andreas Seidl believes that the authoritarian management might be factor for the game. 

FIA 'make race director switch' after Lewis Hamilton jewellery row escalated in Miami

Eduardo Freitas could must take care of extra Lewis Hamilton backlash over the approaching weeks (Picture: GETTY)

“From my viewpoint the brand new set-up with Niels and likewise Eduardo had an excellent begin going into this new period of F1,” he mentioned. “Niels is sort of simple by way of ensuring that the foundations get enforced. He is additionally fairly simple by way of getting throughout what he is anticipating. And that is what I personally like.

“And on the identical time, he’s all the time out there for a dialogue and for constructive enter as nicely, in case you suppose issues must be reconsidered. And from this viewpoint, once I look now how these first races went, I believe we’re in place.”

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