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GPDA achieves full F1 membership for very first time

2017 season drivers group photograph, including world champion Lewis Hamilton
© XPB 

For the very first time in its history, the Grand Prix Drivers Association now includes the entire F1 grid, with not a single driver left out or dismissing the assoctiaton's role.

Former F1 driver and GPDA chairman Alex Wurz says the united front validates the group as a counterpart to Liberty Media, and one which strives for improving racing and its environment.

"The GPDA now has 100 percent membership for the first time in recent memory and maybe history," said 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."

While Wurz recognized Liberty's efforts to promote Formula 1 by boosting its global profile the GPDA chairman insists the association's agenda is focused on what happens on the race track.

Ultimately, Wurz hopes the sport's owners will be on the same page in the future.

"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," he said.

"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 it's 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."