What Is the Role of George Russell as Director of the Grand Prix Driver’s Association?

Published 12/23/2021, 5:57 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 10, 2021 Williams’ George Russell arrives at the circuit REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini


The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, commonly referred to as GPDA essentially serves as a trade union of F1 drivers. Now Mercedes driver George Russell serves in GPDA as a director alongside Sebastian Vettel who has held the post since 2010. Notably, Russell replaced former Haas driver Romain Grosjean as director after his dramatic exit from F1.

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The organization works to improve safety standards in the sport. It includes all the active F1 drivers and serves as their mouthpiece on safety measures on the grid. GPDA is working under the superintendence of Alexander Wurz as chairperson and Anastasia Fowle as legal advisor. Meanwhile, Russell and Vettel serve as the directors in this organization founded in 1961.

Russell has held this crucial post for almost a year, and he believes it was a great learning curve for him.

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George Russell as the director of GPDA

The organization has a long history. The greatest names in the sport have served at the top positions of GPDA, including Sir Stirling Moss, Ayrton Senna, and Michael Schumacher. Notably, the organization led to the boycotts of the 1969 Belgian Grand Prix and of the Nürburgring in 1970 and after 1976, as well as a drivers’ strike at the 1982 South African Grand Prix.

Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 29, 2021 Williams’ George Russell celebrates on the podium with the second place trophy REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

It was disbanded for a short stint in 1982 because of a conflict between FOCA and the FIA. However, now it actively working as a company limited by guarantee since 1996. Mercedes driver George Russell is working alongside others to help improve the safety standards for drivers and spectators during the high-speed Grand Prix.

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Apart from that, he will work towards improving the sporting regulations which made a lot of headlines this season. The 23-year-old has earned a lot of respect in his initial years with the sport. He was thrilled to get this opportunity and looks forward to tackling any challenges that come his way.

Experience in the last few months

The GPDA members appointed the young Briton to this post in March earlier this year. It has been an enriching experience for the 23-year-old.

“I’d say I’ve learned there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye,” said Russell, reported by Motorsport Week.

“I’ve learned you always live and learn from situations and the sport is constantly evolving and it’s never enough if that makes sense?”

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“You’re always striving for more. The safety aspect is the key one which I think things in recent events have been big talking points. Also, ways to try and improve the sporting regulations to make the racing better,” he added.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 16, 2021 Williams’ George Russell in action during practice REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

However, now that the Briton has a deeper insight into the world of motorsports, it will help him work towards betting the sporting experience for the drivers and spectators in the long run.

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Rituraj Tripathi

259 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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