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Grand Prix Drivers urge F1 to make governance changes

The Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA) has urged Formula One to make changes to its governance structure.

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The Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA) has urged Formula One to make changes to its governance structure amid decisions the drivers believe are jeopardising the success of the sport.

In a letter to F1 stakeholders, followers and fans on behalf of the GPDA, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Alex Wurz criticised the sport's management set-up.

Their comments come after an Australian Grand Prix that saw the debut of a new qualifying format in which drivers were eliminated at 90-second intervals.

But the new system was widely criticised and the teams made the decision to return to the format used from 2006 to 2015, where the slowest drivers are knocked out session-by-session before a top-10 shoot-out for pole position.

Lewis Hamilton also slammed the F1 management structure following team-mate Nico Rosberg's win at Albert Park. The defending world champion claimed the rulemakers have no understanding of how the cars function and do not listen to the input of the drivers enough. 

The GPDA letter read: "Formula One is currently challenged by a difficult global 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 decisions - are disruptive, do not address the bigger issues our sport is facing and in some cases could jeopardise its future success.

"The drivers have come to the conclusion that the decision-making process in the sport is obsolete and ill-structured and prevents progress being made.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 - 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 a plan should reflect the principles and core values of Formula One."

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