F1 bosses are still ignoring Jackie Stewart demand that Hamilton backs

Hamilton opens up on plans to remain in F1 ahead of 2023 season

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F1 bosses have failed to act on Jackie Stewart’s demands over a major rule change backed by Lewis Hamilton. Decision makers have not updated the rules around the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) despite Stewart’s push for changes.

Over the winter, Stewart stressed that the GPDA should have “more influence” like it did in the older days. Hamilton has also previously called for drivers to have more power but bosses have not changed how the body works.

Speaking to Express Sport, Stewart said: “I was the President of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, when the GPDA was much more powerful than it is today by the way.

“I think that’s wrong. I think we should have more influence.” GPDA members still meet at most F1 events but the group has lost a lot of its power to wield decisions over the sport.

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Drivers including Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel signed a letter pushing for changes back in 2016. The document claims F1’s “decision-making princess is obsolete” and “prevents progress being made”.

They demanded those in charge “restructured its own governance” as they called for sweeping demands. Back in 2020, Hamilton also raised his fears around the stance of the GPDA.

The Mercedes star stressed it was important the group “works closely with F1” to discuss how the support can move forwards. Hamilton again raised the issue at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when all 20 drivers sat down for a meal for Vettel’s F1 departure.

Hamilton explained: “Maybe we will make this an annual thing here, and maybe we will add another one in the year, but there is a lot we can do as the GPDA, as a united group.

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“We have a responsibility, we have a great platform, each and every one of us, collectively, and there are lots of things F1 has to push forward on action-wise. It says we are doing a lot of things, sustainability and all of those things, but we need to make sure we are pushing through and doing our absolute best and maybe the GPDA can have a role in that.”

British star George Russell serves on the GPDA as a director and previously admitted the role had “opened his eyes”. Sebastian Vettel was another director but his future has been out in doubt since walking away from the sport.

However, chairman Alex Wurz reveals Vettel could still remain in the post even though he has hung up his helmet. He commented: “We will decide on [Vettel’s role] during the first part of the season.

“As we all wanted to give Seb time to consider his own future with perhaps continuous involvement in the GPDA.”

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