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Drivers call for restructure of Formula 1 governance

Leading Formula 1 drivers have called for change to the way F1 is governed, calling the current structure "obsolete"

F1 has come under fire recently after hastily introducing unpopular changes to its qualifying format on the eve of the season.

This came shortly after commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone called the current version of F1 "the worst it's ever been".

World champion Lewis Hamilton criticised the way F1 is run following his second place finish in the Australian Grand Prix and now the Grand Prix Drivers Association has described the decision-making process "obsolete and ill-structured".

In a letter signed by Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and GPDA president Alex Wurz, released through the body's Twitter account, the GPDA - which represents drivers - has asked for F1's governance structure to change.

"Formula 1 is currently challenged by a difficult global economic environment, a swift change in fan and consumer behaviour, and a decisive shift in the TV and media landscape," the statement read.

"This makes it fundamental that the sport's leaders make smart and well-considered adjustments.

"We feel that some recent rule changes - on both the sporting and technical side, and including some business decisions - are disruptive, do not address the bigger issues our sport is facing and in some cases could jeopardise its future success.

"We know that among the leaders of the sport - be it the owners, their representatives, the governing body, the teams or other stakeholders - every individual acts with the very best intentions.

"Therefore, the drivers have come to the conclusion that the decision-making process in the sport is obsolete and ill-structured and prevents progress being made.

"Indeed, it can sometimes lead to just the opposite, a gridlock.

"This reflects negatively on our sport, prevents it being fit for the next generation of fans and compromises future global growth.

"We would like to request and urge the owners and all stakeholders of Formula 1 to consider restructuring its own governance."

NOT A 'BLIND AND DISRESPECTFUL ATTACK'

The GPDA says drivers are "probably the people with the purest interest for Formula 1, beside our fans" and urges F1's bosses to view its statement as being "in the best interests of all" not "a blind and disrespectful attack".

"The future directions and decisions of F1, be they short or long-term, sporting, technical or business orientated, should be based on a clear masterplan," the statement said.

"We need to ensure that F1 remains a sport, a closely-fought competition between the best drivers in extraordinary machines on the coolest race tracks.

"F1 should be home only to be best teams, drivers and circuits, with partners and suppliers fit for such an elite championship.

"Formula 1 has undoubtedly established itself as the pinnacle of motorsport and as such one of the most viewed and popular sports around the world.

"We drivers stand united, offer our help and support for F1 to keep it as such, and further to make it fit and exciting for many years and generations to come."

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