JULY 5, 2005

Now there is real trouble in F1

The Grand Prix Drivers' Association has blown the lid off the rumours that have been doing the rounds in recent days about what Max Mosley said to GPDA chairman David Coulthard in a telephone conversation on Tuesday June 28 when he discovered that 19 drivers had submitted a statement to the FIA World Motor Sport Council in support of "a safety issue". This was in fact in support of the Michelin teams who withdrew from the United States Grand Prix because of tyre problems and the refusal of some of those involved in agree to a chicane.

The drivers have now issued an open letter to Mosley which says that they were "concerned to learn that during the course of this telephone conversation you suggested the FIA might withdraw support for the ongoing safety initiatives of the GPDA"

The letter added that previously Mosley had "dissuaded driver representation in Paris for the World Motor Sport Council meeting".

The letter adds that "The GPDA believes that safety issues are of the highest importance and are disappointed not to receive the full support of the FIA President in this matter."

The letter is signed by Rubens Barrichello, Jenson Button, Takuma Sato, Fernando Alonso, Giancarlo Fisichella, Mark Webber, Nick Heidfeld, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kimi Raikkonen, Jacques Villeneuve, Felipe Massa, Jarno Trulli, Ralf Schumacher, Tiago Monteiro, Narain Karthikeyan, Patrick Friesacher, Christian Albers, Pedro de la Rosa, Robert Doornbos, Anthony Davidson, Ricardo Zonta and Alexander Wurz.

It was not signed by Michael Schumacher nor any of the Red Bull drivers.

The charge against Mosley is one which will not sit well with his position as a guardian of safety and the suggestion that he has been trading safety assistance for political reasons is serious indeed. We await a response from the FIA.