FIA Drivers’ Commission meets in Paris
"I think the drivers should have a voice"
The first meeting of the FIA Drivers’ Commission took place in Paris this week, where representatives from a range of FIA events gathered to discuss issues relevant to racers in every category of motorsport.
Top of the agenda at the inaugural meeting was consistent stewarding, with those present agreeing that it was necessary to ensure that driving standards were enforced in every tier of motorsport. Karun Chandhok pointed to recent issues with stewarding at the Marrakech Auto GP race, and criticism of recent driving standards in GP2 as examples of the need for greater consistency across all forms of motorsport.
“Driving standards and the racing behaviour required are not homogeneous in the different categories,” Emanuele Pirro noted. “F1 is extremely controlled and regulated, while other categories are not as much – maybe this applies more to single-seaters. It is necessary to have more standardized rules and driving standards.”
After much discussion, it was agreed that the Commission propose that a driver be appointed to serve as a steward or stewards; adviser throughout the FIA’s championships, helping to ensure that the right decisions are taken.
“I think the drivers should have a voice perhaps in how some of the rules are created for championships,” Chandhok proposed. “For example, the qualifying format in WEC which is complicated and potentially dangerous as it requires two drivers to do two laps, or even the engine situation in Formula 3 which is a bit messy, or the Formula 4 situation.”
Going forward, a key priority is to publicise the Drivers’ Commission across the various Championships, Cups and Series overseen by the FIA. Drivers across a range of categories need to be able to communicate with the Commission, broaching problems and identifying common issues, and it was suggested that this might best be achieved through an electronic platform.
“The way I see our role is that we are ‘the voice’ of the drivers we represent,” Pirro added. “We should collect from them impressions, suggestions, complaints, and needs; filter them and bring forward what we think is worth it and appropriate. In order to do this we need the drivers to know that we exist.”
The Drivers’ Commission’s proposals will be presented to the World Motor Sport Council, and at their December meeting the WMSC shall approve the initiatives to be taken forward.
Emerson Fittipaldi, President of the Drivers’ Commission said: “"I thank President Todt warmly for having pushed so hard to have this Commission created following the recognition of the FIA by the International Olympic Commission. The FIA is experiencing a historic moment by establishing, for the first time in its existence, a forum for the drivers, enabling them to make their voices heard within the FIA."
The next meeting of the Drivers’ Commission is scheduled to take place on 23 September.