Jul.13 - Mick Schumacher has defended Sebastian Vettel for storming out of the official drivers' briefing in Austria.

The quadruple world champion had a EUR 25,000 fine suspended by the FIA but Schumacher, 23, said his friend and countryman was not alone in his frustrations.

"I had the impression that we were going in circles on some issues," the Haas driver is quoted by Sport1.

"It dragged on longer than necessary. I totally understand how Sebastian reacted and I think there were some other drivers who also felt the urge to leave."

Indeed, there is a growing discontent among the driver camp about the way Formula 1 has handled the post Charlie Whiting era - with axed race director Michael Masi now returning to Australia.

Masi was replaced by two new race directors, including Niels Wittich who appears to be the official most criticised by the drivers.

"I'm not surprised about the discussions taking place now in Formula 1," said Gerhard Berger, who knows Wittich well from his former duties in DTM.

"Let's put it this way - I know Niels' strengths, but also his weaknesses," said the F1 legend.

Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone also sides with the drivers - particularly the most senior ones who trusted the late Whiting implicitly.

"Sebastian, Fernando and Lewis know exactly what is at stake," said the 91-year-old. "Since Charlie's death, the officials have made themselves look ridiculous.

"But Charlie also left a void that no one can come even close to filling. He knew the drivers and team bosses inside out and knew exactly how to deal with them."

Ecclestone thinks a solution would be to promote Herbie Blash, an FIA official for decades who is now in a mainly consulting role, to a Whiting-like position.

"Drivers would accept him just as they would Charlie," he predicts.

Ultimately, though, Ecclestone said solving the driver revolt is the responsibility of new FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

"He has to send clear signals now, because this confrontation with the drivers can't go well for much longer," he said.

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10 F1 Fan comments on “FIA still struggling to fill role played by late Charlie Whiting

  1. ReallyOldRacer

    IMO, it seems that Ross Brawn is the one person in F1 who might fill Charlie's big boots. Leadership 'committees' are certainly not the answer.

      • Donalf

        Is that the reason Masi has finished with the fia, afraid that they may ask him to come back yupp! he's not taking any chances on that one although can't say that I blame him. Ross brawn, he would walk it but he's not stupid, they need someone with thick skin and some one who could enforce the rules and stick to their guns. In that case didn't Ror say that you Shropp, could do the job with your hands tied, is that a good shout or what.

        • ReallyOldRacer

          I never, ever would wish that on Shrop'. I did offer him the duties at Miami but that was only to see him in a flowered beach shirt.

          • Shroppyfly

            Actually I was going to launch a range just like only some girl called Pamela Hamilton? beat me to it, I'm actually quite glad she did, never was into all over body tattoos and nose jewellery...!

  2. Swede

    Thats because Charlie was THE BEST.

    Right, Vettel live Charlie... "Fuck Charlie". Nice comoliment to his 'friend'.

    Masi did fine, but Lewis and Sr. DimenToto did him in.

    Ross has no interest in thus shit job...


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