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McLaren boss gives his verdict on Masi's replacements

Andreas Seidl has spoken about the impact of new Race Directors Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas after the first five races of the 2022 season.

McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl believes that Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas have made a "very good start" to their stint as F1's new Race Directors. Wittich and 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. Over this time, Wittich has clamped down on several areas of competition, including a strict track limits policy (making the white line the edge of the track) and clarifying car positioning at Safety Car restarts.

F1 "in a good place" with its new Race Directors

Giving his verdict on the pair's performances in the role so far, Seidl welcomed the "straightforward" approach that has been implemented. "I don't want to compare to the past, because from our point of view, we have been very happy with the exchange, or with the working relationship that we had with the previous set-ups the FIA had in terms of race direction," began Seidl, speaking to media, including RacingNews365.com . "But from my point of view, the new set-up with Niels, and also with Eduardo, had a very good start going into this new era of Formula 1. "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's always available for a dialogue and for constructive input as well if you think things need to be reconsidered. "When I look now how these first races went, I think we are in a good place."

Seidl thinks F1's jewellery discussion has been "hyped up"

Another area that has come to the fore under Wittich's reign is the more stringent enforcement of a jewellery ban that stretches back to the 2005 season, alongside the wearing of fireproof underwear. Lewis Hamilton expressed his frustration at the FIA focusing on "such a small thing" over the Miami Grand Prix weekend, where the clampdown came into effect, but Seidl supported Wittich's stance. "For me, it's just a topic that gets a bit too much hyped up in the entire paddock– from drivers, but also from the media side," he added. "If you don't like to take off your jewellery, or if you don't want to put the fireproof underwear on, you just don't drive – it's quite straightforward and simple. "Also, from the FIA side, they offered again a dialogue for all kinds of situations where it might be a bit trickier to take the jewellery off, for example. "That's exactly what we are asking for and what we also like [to] see, that there is this open dialogue possible in order to find solutions. "It's a rule, and you have to follow the rule. We as teams or drivers are the first ones to cry when rules are in place and they do not get enforced, so let's just get on with it."

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