FIA sets 16 trainees on path to become potential F1 race director
By Ian Parkes
Friday 17th February, 2023 - 3:41am
The FIA is on course to fast-track a group of trainees to potentially become a future new F1 race director.
Following the furore surrounding Michael Masi and his controversial handling of the 2021 season-ending race in Abu Dhabi, F1 appointed two new race directors for last season in Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas.
Wittich handled the final few races on his own and is due to continue in the role this season.
President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has also been keen to ensure there is a strong succession plan, and recently set in place a Development Pathways initiative for new race directors and stewards.
The FIA has now expanded this via the launch of its new High Performance Pathways programme for officials to ensure a pool of qualified experts are available for all FIA world championship events.
The inaugural edition of this initiative kicks off in Geneva from February 17-19 and includes 24 trainees – eight stewards and 16 race directors – along with FIA experts and mentors.
The trainees will later carry out a bespoke experience-building programme through attendance at various FIA motorsport events to shadow and observe senior FIA officials who will act as their mentors.
Previously, there was an FIA race directors seminar and an international stewards programme, both of which were held over two days and online.
As part of the High Performance Pathways initiative, those events will be transformed into a series of webinars that will be spread throughout the year to address the continual changing needs of the sport.
FIA vow regional and national support
In order to support the development of officials at a regional level, and their progression to international level, the FIA regional stewards training programme will be run this year, and an FIA race directors regional training programme will also be developed.
There will also be support at national level via the national sporting authorities.
FIA Deputy President for Sport Robert Reid said: “By investing in training, we invest in the future and ensure that the new generation of officials is developed according to a universal set of high standards and best practices.
“The role of the FIA as the governing body of world motorsport is to make our knowledge and expertise available to our member clubs.
“The FIA High Performance programme embodies this approach perfectly, through the development of officials at regional level and creating a career path that can lead them to the very top of motorsport regardless of their country of origin and professional background.”
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