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F1 NEWS 

Heidfeld appointed GPDA chairman

Nick HeidfeldNick Heidfeld has been appointed as the new chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) after a meeting in Australia on Friday, AUTOSPORT has learned.

The Mercedes GP reserve driver takes over duties from Sauber's Pedro de la Rosa, who was keen to step down after landing a race seat for this season.

During the GPDA meeting at Albert Park, it was also decided that GPDA directors Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber would also step down from their positions to make way for some fresh blood.

AUTOSPORT understands Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Felipe Massa were appointed as their replacements, and will work alongside Heidfeld as directors of the drivers' body.

It is not clear whether Heidfeld's appointment will have any influence on team-mate Michael Schumacher's decision to not rejoin the GPDA so far. Schumacher said earlier in the weekend that he felt it best to leave the running of the organisation to other drivers.

"After all the years I have been involved in setting it up the guys have been doing a good job for three years. I don't think they need me," he explained. "And as I'm not here for the long-term future, only for a limited time, I don't think I should get involved."

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