How the Australian GP will be run after Whiting's death

The FIA has identified how it will fill three mandatory senior officiating roles in the Formula 1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix, following the shock death of Charlie Whiting.

How the Australian GP will be run after Whiting's death

F1's sporting regulations require the FIA to nominate a race director and permanent starter for each grand prix, both of which must be present at the start of the event, and a safety delegate.

With Whiting due to hold all three positions prior to his passing on the eve of the grand prix weekend, the governing body has had to reorganise its set-up.

It has named Michael Masi, one of two deputy race directors, in all three positions.

Masi is a former Supercars official who worked as Whiting's deputy at several grands prix last year.

As well as continuing that arrangement for 2019, alongside fellow deputy Scot Elkins, Masi accepted the role of Formula 2 and Formula 3 race director for this season.

Masi's assumption of the race director duties places him in charge of the officials and the management of the Australian GP.

This includes deciding whether to suspend any of the sessions, controlling the use of the safety car, and referring incidents to the stewards.

As permanent starter, he will be responsible for controlling the lights that signal the start of the grand prix.

His safety delegate duties include having final say on all safety matters, from changing the pitlane speed limit to ensuring car, driver and circuit safety regulations are adhered to.

Whiting would have completed other elements of that role, including extensive pre-weekend circuit checks, before his death.

Shuffling Masi into the main race director role for the weekend means his responsibilities as deputy race director will need to be covered, but this has not been communicated by the FIA.

Those duties include being in charge of race control for the grid, formation lap, start and opening laps – including making calls on red flags and safety cars during this period – while the race director starts the grand prix.

Haas team principal Gunther Steiner urged teams to make sure they help the FIA as much as possible with its interim measures.

He said they needed to "cause as little trouble as possible".

"We are here to make it happen for the people that need to step in, because these are big shoes that need to be filled," said Steiner.

"In the end we'll find a solution, there will be meetings to make sure nothing goes through the cracks.

"What we will be doing is supporting whatever the FIA puts in place for this weekend.

"Whatever solution they come up with we will support it and try to make the best out of it.

"For this weekend our aim is: if they need our help, we're here to help."

shares
comments
Obituary: Charlie Whiting, 1952-2019

Previous article

Obituary: Charlie Whiting, 1952-2019

Next article

Shell contributed 21% to Ferrari's 2018 engine gains

Shell contributed 21% to Ferrari's 2018 engine gains
Load comments
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Prime

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku Prime

The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Prime

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship.

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021