Niels Wittich, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022

Wittich to continue as F1 race director in 2023

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

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.”

Caio Collet moves to VAR in F3

Caio Collet will switch teams to Van Amersfoort Racing for his third season in the FIA Formula 3 Championship.

The 20-year-old, who became an Alpine junior in 2019 after winning the French Formula 4 title and went on to win in the Toyota Racing Series and be Formula Renault Eurocup runner-up before reaching F3, has raced for MP Motorsport the last two seasons.

He picked up two podiums in his rookie campaign, and last year claimed one pole position and two sprint race wins en route to eighth in the standings. VAR become the fifth team in F3 to complete their line-up for 2023.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

Andretti Autosport’s bid to become F1’s 11th constructor is still facing paddock resistance, despite a tie-up with General Motors and its Cadillac brand showing how serious the team’s entry ambitions are, and Michael Andretti said in an interview with Forbes that the primary reason F1’s current teams are not welcoming is they are focused on the impact a growing F1 grid would have on their own finances.

It makes sense for teams to object to someone getting in if that means they get less money in return.

What doesn’t makes sense to me at least is that one more team would mean less money. Why can’t F1 itself pay for any dilution? I thought F1 is doing well, or at least that’s what they say, with more viewers and more revenue. Where does that go? they already put a 200 million dollar fee for any new teams… why?

Can’t F1 go ahead and say to all the teams: “don’t worry, we’re doing well now, we’ll pay for the difference”. If things work well, another team with an American manufacturer will end up bringing more cash so F1 can get their money back easily…
Fer no.65

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Chris Lloyd!

On this day in motorsport

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories F1 news, RaceFans Round-upTags , , , , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 4 comments on “Wittich to continue as F1 race director in 2023”

    1. As if not get Verstappen out to Mount Panorama, he’s raced it often enough online, I’m amazed he wouldn’t jump at the chance. Last time an F1 car was there was Button in a McLaren back in 2011 with an un-timed unofficial lap record of 1:48.8, and by his own admission barely knew the track.

      They could put a stop watch on him, and make it official. It would be a nice accolade to have for the F1 champion.

      1. I’m guessing at that time of Feb DR, MV and SP will very much be doing sim work in prep for the 2023 car debut at testing.
        I’m sure they could sub in Mark Webber; after all it is only for show and the Bathurst 12hr audience is probably closer aligned to the F1 Market than the Bathurst 1000 audience.

    2. Happy birthday Adrian Sutil, time to break out the champagne glasses…

      On second thoughts, maybe not.

      1. Ouch!! Very clever @red-andyandy

    Comments are closed.