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Michael Masi

Ex-F1 driver reveals what to expect from Masi's replacement

Following Michael Masi's departure from the role of F1 Race Director, Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich will act as his replacements. Ex-Formula 1 driver Stefan Johansson believes that Freitas can "change a lot of things" in how race direction functions.

Masi FIA Abu Dhabi
Article
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Former F1 driver Stefan Johansson has given an insight into what to expect from one of Michael Masi's replacements as Race Director.

Following the FIA's decision to make changes to the race governance structure, Masi was removed from his role and the position will now be shared by Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas.

Johansson believes that the calls made as part of the reshuffle were the right ones.

"I’m glad they did it," Johansson said in an interview on his website.

"There seems to be mixed feelings in the F1 paddock, but I have the feeling that comes down more to what personal relationship some people had with him (Masi), rather than looking objectively at the job he did since he took on the role.

"It's a firm reaction and I think it's the right thing to do. I think it’s a positive sign from the new FIA leadership (FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem) that they're not afraid to make difficult decisions where they need to be made."

Freitas a "very good choice" for F1

Johansson has not worked with DTM Race Director Wittich, but is familiar with Freitas, who has acted as Race Director in the World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series.

The Swede believes that Freitas is a good choice for the role in F1, and expects him to bring some positive changes.

"I haven't had any experience with Wittich but I've done countless races with Freitas and he's very good," Johansson explained.

"I can't really recall any controversy over any of his decisions. He's very clear in the drivers' briefings, as a driver you have a very clear understanding what you can and can't do
before the races start.

"He gets the job done and I think he’s a very good choice. Hopefully that will change a lot of things in how the race direction works."

Johansson thinks this could also have an impact on some of the circuits that Formula 1 visits, adding: "Maybe it will also change the way the tracks are.

"I still can't wrap my head around how the track in Saudi Arabia ever got the go-ahead for example. It's one of the fastest tracks on the calendar and it's basically a street-circuit with a countless number of blind corners.

"It makes no sense, especially when you start with a clean sheet."

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