Exclusive: Sebastian Vettel GPDA future decided as he ‘steps back’ from active role

Sam Cooper
Sebastian Vettel at the Suzuka circuit.

Sebastian Vettel at Suzuka.

Sebastian Vettel’s director seat in the GPDA will not be replaced with the German still expected to play some small part.

The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) acts as the union for Formula 1 drivers and since 2017, all current racers have been signed up as members.

Some additionally serve as directors and Vettel has been in that role since 2010 but now that he has left the sport, his spot will not be filled by a different driver.

Sebastian Vettel GPDA future made clear

As well as membership of the association, drivers can vote for who they want to represent them as directors and since 2021, both Vettel and George Russell have fulfilled those roles.

The two drivers work alongside fellow director and lawyer Anastasia Fowle as well as chairman Alexander Wurz but with Vettel retiring in 2022, there had been question marks as to whether the four-time World Champion would remain in the role.

PlanetF1.com was initially informed by Wurz that a vote would be held at the first European race in 2023 but that did not take place in the end.

Now, Wurz has told PlanetF1.com that Vettel will still play an active role but the organisation is also happy to drop the number of directors down to three.

“Sebastian has stepped back in his active director role,” Wurz said. “But he remains of course a key person in the GPDA and GPDA history.

“We are always happy when he joins our debates.

“The GPDA status foresees three directors. For most of the GPDA’s history we had three directors and we are perfectly fine as we are.

“Given that every member has one vote and a director’s vote is the same as a member’s vote, having three or four directors has no influence over the outcome.”

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Vettel was last spotted in the F1 paddock in Suzuka when he set up a bee sanctuary at Turn 2. His name has also appeared in F1 news recently when he was touted for a possible return to the sport at Mercedes.

Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ team principal and CEO, denied that though, suggesting Vettel was happily retired.

“I think he made the decision to not race anymore,” Wolff told media including PlanetF1.com.

“We are talking on a regular basis. We’ve also talked yesterday, but it wasn’t about driving for us in the future.”

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