APRIL 17, 2016
Vettel plays down risk of F1 driver strike
Sebastian Vettel has played down speculation F1 drivers' anger at the political situation in the sport could lead to a strike.
The response to the controversial letter penned recently by the drivers' association GPDA, in which the drivers hit out at F1's governance, was generally dismissive.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, for instance, called the drivers "windbags", but Vettel was quoted by the German newsmagazine Focus as playing that down.
"None of us takes that too seriously as he is known for always having a quote ready on his lips," said the Ferrari driver, who along with Alex Wurz is a GPDA director.
"The debate must not be reduced to a single person," Vettel told Bild newspaper.
But the other GPDA director, Jenson Button, seems less impressed, describing the backlash to the letter as "catty".
"Our comments were correct and in the right manner," the McLaren driver insists. "It's up to people to reply in the right manner, and so far I haven't seen any of that."
18 of the current drivers made another stir on Wednesday this week by getting together in Shanghai for an ultra-rare collective dinner.
"The current problems have united us (drivers) more than was the case with previous generations," said Vettel.
But he played down the notion that the drivers might make their voices heard more loudly than ever by organising a strike or race boycott.
Vettel insisted: "I don't believe that is an issue in the current situation."