The FIA dismissed Ex-F1 race director Michael Masi after he was accused of twisting the rules in last season’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finale, helping Verstappen secure his maiden crown.
As part of a significant revamp, Freitas and former DTM race director Niels Wittich will alternate in the role, receiving support from Herbie Blash and a panel of video assistants.
Freitas boasts over 20 years of experience as a race director, and former F1 driver Van der Garde has raced in different series he has judged.
And he has given the experienced race director a glowing reference ahead of his F1 arrival but promises stern officiating for those on the grid in 2022.
He told GPFans NL: “Freitas? He’s a good race director. I have known him for a few years. He is a strict guy, rules are rules with him. If you don’t follow them, with him you just get a penalty!”
Hamilton will undoubtedly be open to stricter officiating, given his documented frustrations with Verstappen last season.