Formula 1 Racing

Wittich to continue as F1 race director in 2023 · RaceFans

Niels Wittich, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022

In the round-up: F1’s race director role has been in the spotlight since the controversial 2021 season, but there will be continuity in the position this year.

In brief

F1 to retain Wittich for second season as race director

The role of race director is not about to change hands again despite reports elsewhere claiming Niels Wittich was to be replaced. An FIA spokesperson advised RaceFans his position is not in doubt.

Wittich was appointed to share the role along with Eduardo Freitas following the acrimonious departure of former race director Michael Masi at the beginning of last year. The FIA ended the practice of sharing the position following the Japanese Grand Prix, where drivers complained a recovery vehicle was sent onto the circuit in heavy rain during a Safety Car period, and Wittich occupied the role for the final four races.

Asked in a press conference on Monday about the FIA’s plans for the future of the position, president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said the sport’s governing body intends to continue investing in training up further individuals to serve as race directors as well as stewards in future.

Abt: Getting to the first FE round with two cars “like a small victory”

Making it back onto the Formula E grid for the 2023 season with two cars is already like a win for Abt Cupra, according to the team’s CEO Hans-Juergen Abt.

Abt was in FE from its inaugural 2014-15 season through to 2021, becoming Audi’s factory team ahead of the 2017-18 season as the powertrain supplier took over ownership of the team entry. However Abt lost its place on the grid when Audi decided to leave FE at the end of 2021.

However Abt was able to secure one of the available entries for FE’s new ‘Gen3’ era this year. It returns with Mahindra powertrains and a partnership with another Volkswagen Group brand, Cupra.

“The fact that we are on the starting grid in Mexico with two cars is already like a small victory for us,” said Abt. “Since the finale of the seventh season we have been working with joined forces to return to FE with our team.

“In the past year, the team has continued to grow together in our motorsport centre and a dedicated FE department including Mission Control and simulator has been created. My thanks for all the hard work and long evenings go to the entire team. It is thanks to all of them that our Abt brand can now present itself on this stage again around the globe.”

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