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Drivers call for more say

NEWS STORY
30/05/2013

At the first meeting of the FIA Drivers’ Commission, drivers from various disciplines called for more say in the sport, posing the question when will F1 drivers follow suit.

One of the main topics discussed at the Paris meeting was stewarding and the lack of consistency, something that has bugged F1 drivers and fans for some time.

Using the recent examples of Auto GP and GP2, Karun Chandhok, argued that while the highest standards must be expected in terms of driving standards, it is also vital that there is consistency when it comes to punishing offenders.

"Driving standards and the racing behaviour required are not homogeneous in the different categories," added Emanuele Pirro. "F1 is extremely controlled and regulated, while other categories are not as much, maybe this applies more to single-seaters. It is necessary to have more standardized rules and driving standards."

it was subsequently agreed that the Commission propose that a driver be appointed to serve as a steward or stewards' adviser throughout the FIA’s championships, helping to ensure that the correct decisions are taken.

"I think the drivers should have a voice perhaps in how some of the rules are created for championships," said Chandhok. "For example, the qualifying format in WEC which is complicated and potentially dangerous as it requires two drivers to do two laps, or even the engine situation in Formula 3 which is a bit messy, or the Formula 4 situation."

Also up for discussion was the need to make drivers in the various FIA disciplines aware of the Drivers' Commission in order that they are able to express their views and give valuable input. One proposal was for a website through which the drivers could voice their views.

"The way I see our role is that we are ‘the voice' of the drivers we represent," said Pirro. "We should collect from them impressions, suggestions, complaints, and needs; filter them and bring forward what we think is worth it and appropriate. In order to do this we need the drivers to know that we exist."

The proposals will be presented to the World Motor Sport Council, and at its December meeting the WMSC will approve those initiatives to be taken forward.

"I thank President Todt warmly for having pushed so hard to have this Commission created following the recognition of the FIA by the International Olympic Commission," said Emerson Fittipaldi, President of the Drivers' Commission. "The FIA is experiencing a historic moment by establishing, for the first time in its existence, a forum for the drivers, enabling them to make their voices heard within the FIA."

Pitpass has long argued that F1 drivers should have far more say in the sport, and while the appointment of a Driver Steward at races was a good first step, the drivers - the men at the coal face - should also have a say in the rules, regulations and such things at circuit design and safety. After all, it is their lives that are on the line.

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