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Fernando Alonso

Alonso hits out at new F1 Race Director: The knowledge isn't there

Fernando Alonso has called for improvements at the FIA in terms of race management following the Miami Grand Prix.

Alonso Miami
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Alpine driver Fernando Alonso says he has seen little improvement to the FIA's race direction process so far this season, following the governing body's raft of changes.

Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas arrived for the 2022 season in a shared role after the FIA elected to remove Michael Masi from the position in the wake of the controversial 2021 finale.

While the pair were originally set to share duties on a three-race rotational basis, Wittich has been in command for the first five rounds of the campaign, with Freitas acting as his deputy when not present at World Endurance Championship events.

However, Alonso has questioned Wittich's performance in the role, and welcomed Freitas' move into the hot seat for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

Alonso: We still need to improve a lot

Asked for his thoughts on the FIA's restructuring, Alonso told media, including RacingNews365.com: "We saw a couple of things already that proves that we still need to improve a lot.

"You need to have some knowledge about racing before being a Race Director or trying to monitor a race, and I don't think that knowledge is in place at the moment.

"I know there is a new Race Director here. I think Freitas has a lot more experience with WEC and with other categories, at the top level. I think that will already improve things."

Alonso raised specific concerns about the lack of action following Carlos Sainz and teammate Esteban Ocon's crashes last time out in Miami.

"I think we pushed to have some barriers there and some tyres or Tecpro or whatever, and no one did anything," he continued.

"When you don't have that knowledge of racing it's difficult to talk."

Alonso's frustration made worse by Miami GP penalty

Alonso was also left frustrated over the second of his two five-second time penalties (for exceeding track limits) in Miami, which came after the race.

Alpine released a statement a couple of days later explaining that it was "difficult to accept" as the team "were not able to present the evidence to clarify the particular situation before the penalty was issued".

Alonso doubled down on those views when asked about the incident, describing it as "very unfair".

"It was just incompetence from the stewards; they were not very professional," he commented.

"They took the decision without asking [for] any proof. We arrived after the race with all the proof and all the time back that we gave and they were just packing up – they were not even in the room.

"It was very bad. I mean, it's already [in] the past, but it is something that should not happen in Formula 1, with professionalism and the standard that Formula 1 has right now."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Is F1 at risk of alienating fans with its quest for a show?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Michael Butterworth look back over the first-ever Miami Grand Prix, in which Max Verstappen once again beat Charles Leclerc – but was the racing less important than the show?

F1 2022 Spanish Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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