Will F1 also have its VAR? Peter Bayer, FIA secretary for the Motorsport area and head of the single-seater commission, is preparing a project to review the management of the GPs by the race management.
While waiting for the results of the investigation into the epilogue of the Abu Dhabi GP to be made official on the occasion of the F1 Commission on February 14, in Geneva we are discussing how we can divide the many, too many responsibilities that lie with the highly contested Michael Masi, the Australian race director who ended up in the meat grinder after the epilogue of Yas Marina that led Max Verstappen to the world drivers’ title.
While the concept remains valid that the decisions will be taken by the board of sports commissioners who remain the judges, the reports must come from the police, that is to say the race direction.
And it is undeniable that in a complicated GP it is not at all easy for the race director, Masi, to follow the progress of the race while he has to go and review the facts to be submitted to the stewards.
The creation of an FIA remote garage in Geneva could support the race director for at least three valid reasons:
first – the evaluation of an episode could be done more quickly by those who have no responsibility in leading the race;
second – the communications from the team walls could be filtered by this working group, avoiding that they all have to be listened to by the race director;
third – this team could work “cold” without suffering the emotional climate that often is created in the paddock, avoiding, among other things, the addition of traveling personnel to the existing staff, thus containing costs.
In reality, F1 would not need a VAR as in football, because the figures who direct the race already have the images of the FOM production and those of the internal circuit of the racetrack, but the idea of the FIA to adapt its own is not wrong. staff to the organizational methods of a team, which has super-qualified professionals at home who can give support to the wall in the choices according to the simulations that are updated in real time.
In short, if all this were true, F1 could make a great leap in quality, forming professional figures who could aspire to become race directors. It has been said in many places that we want to strengthen Michael Masi with helpers, but we must not forget that the deputy race director has always existed: in the era of Charlie Whiting it was Herbie Blash, while with the Australian there is often Niels Wittich , the one who directs the DTM and who is present in F1 when there are no concomitants.
The German has been pointed to as a possible replacement for Michael Masi if the FIA wants to satisfy Mercedes by dropping a head. According to our rumors, however, the Australian will be defended in his work, while the procedures in conducting a GP could change with a division of tasks that today weigh only on the shoulders of the race director.
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