GPDA Concerned about Safety, Not Politics

Leading drivers have insisted that their concerns about safety in Formula One have nothing to do with the sport's current political situation

GPDA Concerned about Safety, Not Politics

With FIA president Max Mosley having decided to cancel a planned meeting on Friday with the Grand Prix Drivers' Association after David Coulthard criticised this year's new rules, GPDA director Mark Webber has claimed that the drivers' sole focus is on improving safety.

This comes despite the GPDA deciding to publish an open letter they wrote to Mosley this week expressing their disappointment at his attitude to safety in F1.

"Safety is something which is clearly at the top of our list as drivers and we're always looking to improve that," said the Australian. "Clearly there has been a bit of friction. 

"I think that the open letter just stated the fact that when we do have opinions we get criticised and we are all together."

He added: "The invitation is still clearly there for Max to come to the meeting with us tomorrow, he can still come and meet us. We want to talk about safety, we don't want to talk about the regulations. We want to talk about safety.

"I think that the obligation from the GPDA and myself as one of the directors, is to look at making the sport better, short term, long term so kids can have a sport that they can look up to.

"We don't want to run the sport, we just want to have something that young kids can look up to and a sport that we all aspire to."

Coulthard, whose criticisms of the regulations came after a phone-call he received from Mosley after the United States Grand Prix, said he was disappointed that the Friday meeting had been cancelled.

"We obviously want to sit down and discuss that and we thought the best way was to do it face-to-face, but that's obviously not possible," he said. "Personally, I'm a little bit disappointed that my views on how the current rules are, are being confused as being part of the GPDA safety initiatives.

"They are completely separate. I'm sure you all have opinions as to what your favourite qualifying set-up was over the years and what you think should happen with the regulations so that is disappointing. But nonetheless we obviously got an indication that we can meet at some point in the future and discuss it."

Jenson Button added: "We are all in the same situation here. We all are looking at improving the safety and it's great that we can all stick together because we all do have the same feelings when it comes down to safety."

Coulthard also moved to dismiss suggestions that members of the GPDA were trying to remove Michael Schumacher from his position as director in the wake of his failure to back their recent moves.

"The members of the GPDA are all very clear," said Coulthard. "Michael's role is clear as a director and there is no change in that, so there is no point saying any more on that."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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