The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association has managed to achieve 100% membership of the Formula 1 grid for the first time in its recent history. The GPDA re-formed in 1994 following the tragic events of the San Marino Grand Prix, in which Roland Ratzenberger and three-time world champion Ayrton Senna were both killed on the same race weekend. The push for better on-track action has united the drivers in a bid to improve the spectacle of the sport for the spectators, and according to the GPDA’s chairman Alex Wurz, they understand the importance of coming together in order for their voices to be heard.
“The GPDA now has 100% membership for the first time in recent memory and maybe history.” – said Alex Wurz – “So it was a very good year. F1 is entering a period of evolution, change and perhaps even a degree of turmoil. All the drivers recognise that they must be united and represented, in order to face that challenge and prevent any politics or fights for power from ultimately compromising on track performance. The drivers believe unity is fundamental for the sport’s success.”
Formula One’s owners Liberty Media have been closely analysing the sport during their first year in charge, with certain new additions such as a boost in social media and a new logo part of their plan to take F1 into a new digital age. Although this has been praised by fans and teams, Liberty is also keen to improve the racing and create close competition, and Alex Wurz believes this is where the main focus should remain: “The GPDA demands only that the sport remains the centre of attention and we want to hold everyone in the decision-making process accountable for their actions and decisions. All adjustments to the sport should only be done and conducted in the best interest of the sport and not of any one individual, and this is what unites the drivers, this sheer will to keep F1 as the pinnacle of motor racing. We consider F1 as Sport, not show. A driver rightly so calls himself a sportsman and not showman, because its still about the most natural human aspiration – to go faster, higher, quicker. Great sport is what we love to see, if great sport is embedded in a suitably created show and race experience , that would indeed be good. If the sport sucks, everything around the sport itself is only expensive, inauthentic and semi irrelevant. We need on track competition, but not artificially created. We can’t be naive about the situation which F1 is in, with its complicated governing rules and agreements between various key stake holders. Business decisions and political power fights have damaged the sport enough at vulnerable times over the last decade. But the GPDA has repeatedly said that the on track action needs to be better, more closely fought and authentic. As such, we are glad that Liberty and their technical research team follow the GPDA’s suggestion from more than a year ago, where we wished for a less sensitive airflow concept of aerodynamic-related rules in order to be able to race closer.” – Alex Wurz concluded, as reported by the British media earlier today.