GPDA celebrates 10 years

Seven times world champion Michael Schumacher said on Tuesday that he believed that drivers' lives had been saved in Formula 1 thanks to the formation of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association exactly 10 years ago

GPDA celebrates 10 years

Speaking ahead of the 10th anniversary of the formation of the GPDA on Wednesday, Schumacher hailed the progress made in improving safety in the sport since it was formed in the wake of the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at Imola in 1994.

"In my view the GPDA is essential as the drivers' view on safety contribute to the FIA's research into accidents," he said. "This leads to improvements both on track for racing drivers in all categories and for the general public on the road.

"I am glad that the drivers are able to work so effectively together both within the GPDA and with the FIA. Our work is evident at various circuits around the world and I am confident that our input has helped prevent serious injury and save lives."

The GPDA has been active in ramping up its commitment to safety this year against the backdrop of increased speed and a number of accidents. Regular meetings are now held at grand prix meetings and the GPDA's directors - Schumacher, David Coulthard, Mark Webber and Jarno Trulli are all in regular contact with the FIA.

Coulthard said: "It's rare to have a group of such naturally competitive individuals as F1 drivers focus their energies on a common goal and I am proud that we are able to do so with such positive results."

In more recent times, the GPDA has increased its efforts to raise money for charity - which has included raffles to win paddock passes as well as auctions of memorabilia.

Trulli added: "Having seen what we have been able to achieve I can say that I am proud to be an active part of such a positive force. I also believe it is our duty to help those less fortunate than ourselves and to do this, the GPDA has increased its charitable works in the last few years."

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