(Motorsport-Total.com) – The Formula 1 drivers’ association (GPDA) has sharpened its profile under the leadership of Alexander Wurz. Carlos Sainz agrees. The Spaniard praises the work of the Austrian. However, he cannot currently envision taking on a more important role in the organization.
“The GPDA is a good place and very well run, initially by Alex Wurz of course. He’s doing a very good job behind the scenes and brings all 20 Formula 1 drivers together,” said Sainz, describing the former racing driver’s work in an exclusive interview.
Since 2017 all 20 drivers are again officially members of the “Grand Prix Drivers’ Association”. It is not that easy and a bit “a disaster” to bring all pilots to a common denominator, said Sainz. “We all have different lifestyles, we are always stressed, so it is difficult to organize ourselves.”
Wurz is doing an “extraordinary job”. The ex-Formula 1 driver has been chairman of the GPDA since 2014. Under his leadership, the pilots have returned to the roots of the association, for example in security issues. Wurz also organized a worldwide fan survey.
“Also our two presidents, Romain [Grosjean] and Sebastian [Vettel], do it very well, so I am satisfied. You are all much more experienced than me, so you definitely have the right to act as Chair. “
Sainz himself, who is in his sixth Formula 1 season, does not yet feel ready to take on a more important role in the GPDA. “I’m very happy with the situation at the moment. You never know what the future will bring. But it feels right that the most experienced guys are at the top of the GPDA.”
Wurz and Co. look back on a long history of the GPDA. The association was originally founded in 1961, when Sir Stirling Moss was chairman. At that time, the pilots wanted to have a greater say, especially on safety issues.
In 1982 the organization was dissolved and only brought back to life after the tragic Imola weekend in 1994. It has had its official headquarters in Monaco since 1996. In recent years, the drivers have expressed their concerns under the motto “Racing United” in joint statements from the GPDA.
Around March 2016, when the drivers responded to the new qualifying format that was introduced at short notice with an open letter. In it they described the decision-making structure in sport as “obsolete” and “wrongly structured”. Last year, the pilots presented a four-point plan for the 2021 regulations.
The GPDA also symbolically embodies unity. For example, Wurz organized 20 red caps with the drivers at the Monaco Grand Prix 2019 after the death of Niki Lauda in memory of the Austrian. This season the association supports the Formula 1 anti-racism campaign with uniform t-shirts.