Jenson Button has admitted a seat on the F1 Commission representing the drivers would be “nice”.
After the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association published its open letter with the support of the entire field of active drivers, paddock rumours swirled that GPDA president Alex Wurz is eyeing a future in F1 politics and a place on the decision-making F1 Commission.
The letter was signed off by Wurz but also Sebastian Vettel and Button, and Button has now confirmed: “I think if we had someone at the decision-making table, it’s always nice having another opinion and one from a different background to the decision-making group.
“But I don’t think it’s entirely necessary, no,” he told NBC Sports in Bahrain.
Button’s final comment might be a bid to prevent any repercussions, as the 2009 world champion admitted the drivers would never openly criticise individuals.
“An individual or individual driver will never have an opinion on another individual in formula one,” he is quoted by the Telegraph. “You might not be on the grid in the next race!” he joked.
Indeed, a fiery F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is in Bahrain in the wake of the GPDA letter, and he made clear that the drivers complaining the loudest are “windbags”.
“Some of them are,” said the 85-year-old. “Which ones? The ones that are.”
Ecclestone specifically chided his former ally Vettel, who has been particularly outspoken on his views about F1’s governance in recent days.
One soundbite that caught Ecclestone’s attention was Vettel’s about fans being ordered to eat vanilla ice-cream when all they want is chocolate.
“He should go to his boss and tell him the same thing,” Ecclestone hit back. “They (Ferrari) have been running an ice cream shop for a few years now.
“The drivers can say what they like,” he added. “They can’t do anything. They haven’t got any strength. They’ve got an opinion.
“And they’re only saying what their teams have told them to say,” Ecclestone charged.
The F1 teams deny that, insisting they do not back the move to have a driver put on the F1 Commission.
“No, I’ve not spoken to any of the drivers on that,” said Force India’s Bob Fernley. “I think the drivers have got a role to play but it’s very difficult to have a member of the GPDA on the F1 Commission.”
F1 legend and Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda agrees, insisting Austrian Wurz is acting alone.
“Mr Wurz got together and spoke in the name of all the drivers,” he said. “It’s all bull—-. This is Wurz alone. He was the master of this. We had nothing to do with it.”