F1: now Massa joins Hamilton in shunning GPDA

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarTuesday, May 13th, 2008

 
 

An article in today’s Independent does Lewis Hamilton little credit, suggesting as it does that he won’t support the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association because he rather petulantly doesn’t want to pay the fees.

That great safety campaigner Sir Jackie Stewart agrees, accusing Hamilton of “feeling he is a bit special.”

It also reveals that the latest refusenik is Felipe Massa, who is reported to have recently resigned his membership of the organisation which lobbies for driver safety.

Still, GPDA director Mark Webber remains philosophical. Here’s an excerpt:

Hamilton shuns safety organisation

Heikki Kovalainen’s escape from serious injury during his high-speed accident in the recent Spanish Grand Prix highlighted the progress that has been made on the safety front, but the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association is nevertheless going through turmoil.

Frontrunners Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen have chosen not to become members, and Turkish GP winner Felipe Massa has resigned.

“I won’t go on about whether I’m joining because you know the deal,” Hamilton said. “They’ve not asked me if I want to support them. But in all honesty it’s like asking you (the media) to pay for our driver salaries.

“I don’t understand why I need to. I pay for my racing licence, which goes towards the FIA safety regulations. So I don’t understand why I need to be paying more.”

[snip]

GPDA director Mark Webber made it clear that he remains interested in getting Hamilton to join up.

“He will be very welcome any day to come along and just flick a couple of views around,” the Australian said. “It is good to have someone at the front of the grid in the quick car, to be helping us out and taking the sport forward, because he is the future of the sport.

“Someone like Kimi, we know he is not interested and that is fine. And some guys in the past were not interested but they paid their way because they knew every single lap they did, whether testing or racing, there were GPDA people saving them.” Read full story here…

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