Rare sneak peek inside the ‘beautiful’ drivers GPDA meetings

Sam Cooper
The F1 drivers taking a group photo.

They may be opponents but off track the F1 drivers are "united."

GPDA chairman Alexander Wurz has described the organisation’s meetings as “beautiful” and maintained that all F1 drivers are united.

The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) acts as the union for F1 drivers and since 2017, every active driver has been signed up.

But given the fierce competition on track, it is natural to assume there could be some tension off it but chairman Wurz has insisted all the drivers are on the same page.

F1 drivers ‘united’ says GPDA chairman

While they do not meet every race weekend, the GPDA members will speak to one another multiple times a year with topics ranging from what the sport could be doing better to the on-track action.

But Wurz has described the current group as “united” with a lot of respect for one another.

“It was a nice photo,” Wurz exclusively told PlanetF1.com of the end of the season dinner photo. “I believe it is the first time ever in F1 that the same drivers progress into the next season.

“They are an incredible group of individuals with the greatest respect to each other in our closed GPDA meetings. We are here to help the stakeholders guide the sport. The passion and interest of the drivers is pure and stems from their childhood dreams to become an F1 racer.

“Every time, over and over, I am amazed that all of them do deeply care for the long-term future and health of the sport. We have the most beautiful meetings when we face fundamentals of our sport and our end of year picture is here to show all stakeholders and all other race categories that we, the F1 drivers, are united!

“The drivers highly respect each other, respect the sport’s history and only want the best for its future. Besides, we all do it for the love of racing and competition. We race united, for our sport and our fans.”

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But even if the sport is in a good place right now, it is not perfect with the blistering heat of the Qatar Grand Prix enough to cause one driver to retire ill and another to black out going into corners.

On that particular incident, Wurz said he is waiting to hear back from the FIA on the matter “anytime soon.”

“The GPDA raised a few thoughts, ideas and the request for investigation after the Qatar Grand Prix,” the two-time Le Mans winner said. “[FIA single seater director] Nikolas [Tombazis] was very swift in his reaction post the race in relation to the heat related issues and they are on the case. We are due to get feedback from the FIA anytime soon.

“Indeed we also had the tyre matter, and same situation here, we are due to get feedback from the FIA anytime soon.”

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