Well they’ve finally done it. They screwed around with Formula 1 enough to get the Grand Prix Driver’s Association upset and now the group, headed by Alex Wurz, will be wading in to the tepid waters of F1’s financial, regulatory and safety discussions.
According to AUTOSPORT, the GPDA will start to raise its game and inject itself into the conversation with Wurz saying:
“We are in the process of defining these points in detail,” Wurz said.
“Not one of us wanted or considered that such a big accident could happen, so I have to say that we have had to put our attention to the issues at stake after Suzuka. That is a priority shift.
“But we will meet in Abu Dhabi and discuss exactly some of the ideas and proposals I have for the GPDA to go and engage with the key stakeholders, and with the fans.
“We want to be a bit more public, but without being political.”
Now it is difficult to be friendly, public and apolitical—let’s face it, F1 tried to claim that position in Bahrain and it wasn’t met with compassionate ears. This conversation involves balance sheets, prize money, team equity and drivers in horrible accidents due to vehicle extraction equipment. Point is, it’s a big-boy conversation.
The drivers feel they have a voice and role in the dialog:
“I think we are ready and we should also have an influence in a positive way for the sport to be a bit more open, to engage with the fans, to co-ordinate with the strategy groups, research groups, the rule makers and the key stakeholders.
“But again we want to do it in co-operation. We are all together: we all sit down and we all want the sport to be successful, safe and spectacular.
“We can do that, we want to do that, but it means we have to integrate ourselves in the system.”
What this will look like remains to be seen but there is a spirit of “we’re all int his together” that you have to appreciate its just that the drivers don’t have a lot of personal skin in the financial game as far as team ownership or commercial rights ownership and prize money. That doesn’t mean they may not have some good ideas though.
At this point, it can’t hurt because F1 is talking more about its scab and un-healing wound than it is about its on-track action and that’s not good. Perhaps it takes a driver’s unique perspective to add to the cauldron in which to make a really good polyjuice potion.
At this point I feel like its Precious Little telling us, “we got the team, we got the owners, we got the regulatory body but we don’t have the drivers…praise the lord”.
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Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT