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Featured F1 Drivers call for changes to "obsolete" governing body

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by R.J. O'Connell, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix 2016.jpg
    On Wednesday, the drivers of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) released a statement calling for the restructuring of Formula 1's "obsolete" governance, criticizing recent rule changes and other "disruptive" business decisions made by the leaders of the sport, in one of the strongest statements made by the F1 drivers' union in many years.

    It is the first time that the GPDA has directly held the sports' governing bodies accountable for the current direction of the sport, and the statement comes at a time where recent rule changes such as the controversial new qualifying format have been met with negative reaction, and on the eve of an expected total overhaul of the technical regulations to go into effect in 2017.

    The full statement reads:


    Driver Position Statement

    Dear Formula 1 stakeholders. followers and fans,

    The Grand Prix drivers would like to state our following position:

    We drivers love our sport! Since childhood, we dreamed of racing the fastest race cars from the top teams on the coolest tracks against the best drivers in the worid. We seek competition and love F1 almost unconditionally, which makes us most probably the people with the purest interest for Formula 1, beside our fans.

    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. 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 directions – 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 the drivers have come to the conclusion that the decision-making process in the sport is obsolete and ill-structured and prevents progress being made, indeed, it can sometimes lead to just the opposite, a gridlock.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 further global growth.

    We would like to request and urge the owners and all stakeholders of Formula 1 to consider restructuring its own governance. The future directions and decisions of F1, be they short or long term, sporting, technical or business orientated should be based on a clear master plan. Such plan should reflect the principles and core values of Formula 1.

    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 the 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.

    It is important to state that this open letter is intended in the best interests of all and should not be seen as blind and disrespectful attack. Thank you for your attention and granting us the liberty to put our thoughts into words.

    Best regards,

    Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Alex Wurz. on behalf of the Grand Prix Drivers

    Do you agree with the GPDA's statement? Vote in the poll, share your opinion by leaving a comment below, and for more Formula 1 discussion, be sure to visit our F1 sub-forum.
    • Agree Agree x 16
    • Like Like x 4
  2. I voted yes, the drivers need a lot more say.
  3. Cristian Haba

    Cristian Haba
    #555 | Roaring Pipes Maniacs Premium

    THIS is a solid, compact, accurate blunt force trauma blow to the flabby gut that is the F1 Governing body. Needed to be said, well done, that's a round of applause.

    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium

    Hell yes! About time they said it too...

    Another interesting poll could be: "do you think this statement will make any difference to the leadership and / or decision making process". My bet is no would win out the day... :(
    • Agree Agree x 5
  5. Ole Marius Myrvold

    Ole Marius Myrvold
    JWB 96-13 Staff

    The drivers want their part, the teams want their part, major sponsors their, owners their etc. It'll just keep on being a mess.
    F1 should be run more like a dictatorship imo.
  6. :confused:


    • Haha Haha x 3
  7. Tobias Röhner

    Tobias Röhner
    Germany's greatest Indycar Fan. Premium

    But they need a dictator that actually know what the sport needs.

    What the drivers say here reflects everything I think is wrong with F1. Button, Vettel, Wurz, these are the guys F1 needs. Hell, just make Wurz the head of F1.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. hell yes make this happen by the next race or the previous one
    • Haha Haha x 1
  9. Yapci


    Almost no driver neither team (and no spectators) likes actual F1 as it is. That must be because of something. And each decisition they are taking get it worse.
  10. SK

    Prince with a thousand enemies. Premium

    F1's only hope is right here....

    • Haha Haha x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Love Love x 1
  11. James Cook

    James Cook
    Marcas fan

    Good on them.
  12. Listening to the drivers is not going to solve F1, just based on last few years alone. In 2013 drivers wanted harder tires in order to be able to attack more. Pirelli delivered for 2014. In 2014/2015 drivers complained F1 cars are 5 seconds too slow (partly due to the tire change drivers themselves requested). As a result, in 2017 F1 cars will become wider and faster as requested per drivers in 2015. But now they are saying (at least Hamilton) that faster cars will solve nothing.

    Another example, in 2011 or 2012 drivers requested heavier cars to reduce the disadvantage of heavier drivers, Mark Webber was particularly vocal about this. In 2016 Lewis Hamilton says F1 cars are 100 kg too heavy, forgetting that it was exactly what the drivers requested a few years back.

    So what do we get from this? Drivers have no idea about the complexity of rule changes and the effect they have, all they should do is give input on certain racing matters.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. F1 as its own dictator hes called Bernie & as been dictating the direction of the sport for years..
    To many have their fingers in the pie now, all pulling in different directions.
    F1 should be about unrestricted designs & cutting edge technology withing some sort of budget has is as to be in touch with the real world time as well as the times.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  14. DrKruntz


    I am totally agreed with pilots... and I firmly believe that for Bernie Ecclestone now is the time of retirement!
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  15. My issue with this letter is that it doesn't really explain any problems with the sport or suggest any solutions. It essentially says, "we (drivers) don't like the way the sport is being run, the end." I'm not sure that statement carries enough weight to change anything or even make shareholders think about making a change. Every F1 fan has an opinion on what they like and what they don't about the sport, but no single change is good for everyone.

    I was fine with the sport last season with a few exceptions...

    1. The ridiculous token system blunting engineering and development.

    2. Engine complexity/cost blocking low-cost engine manufacturers thus creating a monopoly for elite engine manufacturers.

    3. Stupid grid penalties placing some cars in 50th position in a field of 20 cars.

    4. Tires that required way too much pit strategy and not enough focus on actual driving.

    The new qualifying for this year seems to be a step backwards for sure. The token system is going away next year so that helps, engine complexity/cost doesn't seem to be getting any better, tires still require too much strategy. The first race of this season was already affected by the new qualifying and tire strategies.
  16. BoogerMac


    Pardon my F1 ignorance, but do the GPDA and F1 corporate have some sort of "collective bargaining agreement" that last for X number of years? Most American sports do this, but I'm unsure how European HQ'd sports work. I'm asking because theoretically, could the GDPA drivers go on "strike" if they don't get certain demands / expectations met after period of time?

    Again, F1 ignorant here. Thanks!
  17. Firm believer that they should employ Arnold Schwarzenegger to run F1.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Haha Haha x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Sunny Sky Speed

    Sunny Sky Speed
    You will never see me again, it's final now. Bye Premium

    F1 is a circus, an orchestrated show driven by money and sponsors and then on the other side restricted by too many pathetic little rules all coming from the mind of some individual. Add to that the interference of the top teams and manufacturors. ...in between this mayhem of parties are left the drivers of which the love for the sport is priority and they are seeing the love of the fans diminishing slowly as they are submitted all to the ridiculous maze of F1 regulations disrupting the essence of racing sports.
    I think these following steps should be made in order to save F1 from being overrun by the popularity of LMES for instance. ....
    1/ get rid of that old bastard Bernie Ecclestone.
    2/ less influencal sponsors : pilots should only be chosen by skill, not the depth of their pockets like recent occurrings. Spread sponsorship equally in stead of using a main sponsor. This will hold down the interference level.
    3/ the drivers should have veto rights to dismiss any rule and every rule must be approved by both governing and team managing party.
    4/ make the sport less expensive by introducing a lower budget category that can race amongst the higher category where diversity and innovation should be priority for the governing party.
    5/ Get rid of too many small rules to let the teams be innovative and diversative.
    6/ Get that freakin V10 sound back for the fans to enjoy. Also allow V12 or whatever engine, just set up rules in terms of power to weight ratio. This will offer the audience some interesting aspects and more important one can have a "favorite" car besides the pilot or team. The love for the cars would return. The love for the sport would grow again.
    7/ Entry tickets should be lower price and races should be doubled. One on Saturday and one on Sunday. Qualify in morning and race in afternoon. Second race swap places 1st to last and vice versa. Practice Thursday and Friday, as usual.
    I realise all this is way too much to realise but boy oh boy what an F1 championship that would be! !
    • Like Like x 1
    • Love Love x 1
  19. Some of the new rules have been bad, but the new tire rules with 3 compounds is a big step forward compared to than the old one. If you want less strategy, it will kill the last bit of excitement from races. If every driver was given the same tire that lasted for 100 laps, there would be no overtakes whatsoever. Strategy has always been part of F1, just remember back in 2004 when Schumacher won the French GP with 4 stops. That win was purely thanks to brilliant strategy and nobody complained.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  20. I don't find pit stops or tire strategies exciting at all but to each their own I suppose.
    • Agree Agree x 1