Yuki Tsunoda has strongly criticized the race management. The AlphaTauri driver finds the current race management, which consists of Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, very inconsistent. The driver has already had several reprimands to his name, which means that he is only one warning away from a grid penalty. Tsundoa hopes the decisions will improve in the future.
The FIA hoped with the appointment of new race directors that the criticism would subside, but that is not yet the case. “I don’t really trust the FIA, to be quite honest,” Tsunoda is quoted as saying by RaceFans† “They’re very inconsistent every time. I’ve already had four reprimands to my name. In Monaco I also got one, but I still don’t know why.’ If Tsunoda receives another warning, the driver will receive a ten-place grid penalty.
“Other drivers did worse things than me and these incidents were not even investigated,” continues the AlphaTauri driver. Carlos Sainz previously expressed his dissatisfaction with the choices of the race management. In his opinion, Nicholas Latifi should have been punished. The Ferrari driver says he was blocked by the Canadian during the race. “In other races they will be a lot stricter,” concludes Tsunoda.
Tsunoda: ‘Don’t do something because Verstappen and Pérez did it too’
In Monaco there was even more controversy over a race management decision. Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez seemed to drive over the pit line, but they were not penalized. Tsunoda knows not to take any chances with such rules. “I’m just going to try to play by the rules just to stay out of trouble. I can’t think to myself that it’s okay to drive over the white line because Max and Checo did that in Monaco too. In Azerbaijan it will be a different story. That’s how it always goes.’
Tsunoda: ‘Masi had more experience’
Last year the Formula 1 drivers still had Michael Masi as race director. “The new race directors are very different and that’s not just a negative thing. They try to be as fair as possible to all teams. Yet we saw that Michael Masi had much more experience with other things. We now have to give the race management some time to draw up good rules.’ Tsunoda knows that he also has work to do. “I have to try not to get punished,” said the Japanese.
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Update 19.20 | Magnussen agrees with Tsunoda’s words: ‘It used to be a lot more consistent’
Kevin Magnussen agrees with Yuki Tsunoda’s words. Earlier on Thursday, the AlphaTauri driver already expressed his dissatisfaction with the current race management in Formula 1 and Magnussen also sees that race management is not consistent. The Haas driver thinks it does not help that Formula 1 currently has two race directors.
Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich have taken over from Michael Masi. “I think you do notice a difference between the two race directors,” Magnussen is quoted as saying by Autosport.com† “I think it used to be a lot more consistent, but this is what we have to deal with now. There’s a reason the FIA is hiring new people, so I’m not too worried about that. It’s a bit like the weather, I can’t control it anyway.’
Update II 14.56 | More F1 drivers demand consistency from the FIA and race management
More drivers join the words of Yuki Tsunoda and Kevin Magnussen. The Formula 1 drivers want the race directors and the FIA to be a lot more consistent in their decisions. In addition, Valtteri Bottas already has a solution to the current problems. According to the Finn, Formula 1 should have only one race director instead of two or three.
“I have faith in the FIA president,” Fernando Alonso is quoted as saying by Autosport.com† ‘But at the moment the decisions are not always correct. At the beginning of the year we saw that the choices were not always consistent. There is certainly room for improvement.’ Charles Leclerc concurs with these words. “Especially the consistency of the decisions needs to be addressed to make everything even better.”
Bottas thinks there is a simple solution to avoid inconsistency. The Alfa Romeo driver wants Formula 1 to go back to one race director. “That’s much better than two or three race leaders. That’s just my feeling. If the same person is there every race it is easier to discuss with each other and he can deal with our feedback much better.’
Russell: ‘Hopefully we’ll be heading in the same direction soon’
The two Mercedes drivers are happy with Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas. Lewis Hamilton states that the new people in these roles still have to get used to their positions. George Russell, part of the GPDA, wants the drivers and race directors to continue to work well together. “That’s important in this relationship, because that way we can push the sport in the right direction. That just needs a few races. Hopefully we’ll be heading in the same direction soon.’