Hamilton unmoved by GPDA calls
|By Jonathan Noble||Saturday, May 10th 2008, 16:28 GMT|
Lewis Hamilton has said he is unmoved by calls from senior figures within the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) to reconsider joining the organisation, as he rubbished suggestions he had relented and agreed to donate £15,000 to it.
Jarno Trulli has stirred up a fresh row about leading drivers not being members of the GPDA, claiming it was 'outrageous' that they were not interested in improving safety within the sport.
Former world champion Fernando Alonso also said over the Turkish Grand Prix weekend that he was baffled why front-line drivers were not members.
But despite the calls, and the reports that Hamilton had agreed to pay his £15,000 subscription fee as a compromise, the McLaren driver has questioned why he should fund the GPDA to improve safety.
"I won't go on about whether I'm joining or not because you guys know the deal," he told reporters when asked about the GPDA situation.
"We spoke about it plenty of times, but they've not approached me and asked me if I want to support them. But in all honesty it's like asking you (the media) to pay for our driver salaries, or that sort of thing.
"I don't understand why I need to. I pay for my racing licence, which goes towards the FIA safety regulations. So I don't understand why I need to be paying more."
When asked if he was contributing financially to the GPDA, Hamilton said: "I'm not at the moment. No."
GPDA director Mark Webber has made it clear, however, that the body remains interested in getting Hamilton on board.
"He will be very welcome any day to come along and just flick a couple of views around," he said. "It is good to have someone at the front of the grid in the quick car, to be helping us out and taking the sport forward, because he is the future of the sport.
"Someone like Kimi (Raikkonen), we know he is not interested and that is fine. And some guys in the past were not interested but they paid their way because they knew every single lap they did, whether testing or racing, there were GPDA people saving them."