Max Verstappen reveals F1 ownership dream as drivers fight FIA for more power

Oliver Harden
Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen celebrates victory.

Max Verstappen has admitted that he would like to own F1 himself as the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) fight the FIA for more decision-making power.

First established in 1961, the GPDA is effectively the F1 drivers’ union, giving the drivers a united voice on subjects related to F1’s governance.

Alexander Wurz, who made 69 F1 appearances for Benetton, McLaren and Williams between 1997 and 2007, has been chairman of the GPDA since 2014, with current Mercedes driver George Russell a director.

Max Verstappen keen for more GPDA influence on key F1 decisions

Despite often interjecting on such issues as safety, the GPDA lacks any formal power, with drivers keen to have their voice heard on a more frequent basis.

Verstappen, who last month claimed a third consecutive World Championship, is keen for the GPDA’s influence to be expanded and has revealed that he would like to own F1 himself in an ideal world.

He said: “I think it just sometimes has too many rules that they have to take into account and too many politics as well to make a change or decision. Of course I would like to, as the GPDA, to have a say.

“I would like to be the owner of F1 if I could, but that’s not the real world.

“We keep expressing our concerns, but also what has been done correctly. And we keep that dialogue open, we try to always make them listen, and we listen as well, we tried to communicate and we’ll see what comes out of it in the coming years.”

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Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez is one of the longest-serving drivers on the current grid, having made his debut with Sauber at the start of the 2011 season.

The 33-year-old, the most successful Mexican driver in the sport’s history with six victories, echoed Verstappen’s call for more say, arguing that the GPDA reflects the views of all drivers.

He added: “I think it would be nicer if the GPDA could have a little bit more influence, because the GPDA is not just a single driver.

“It’s the board, it’s the majority of all of us that are living the sport, and it would be nice to see in the near future that they will consider more the opinion of the GPDA as an association.”

At its height in the 1960s and ’70s, the GPDA boycotted the Spa and Nurburgring circuits over safety concerns, with the union infamously leading a strike by the drivers ahead of the 1982 South African Grand Prix.

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