F1 returnee Pedro de la Rosa has been appointed as the new chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association. He will take over the role from Rubens Barrichello, who has joined the IndyCar Series after being unable to remain in Formula 1 when he was dropped from Williams’ line-up.
De la Rosa had served as the group’s deputy chairman last year, and the GPDA had agreed that he would fill the senior position in the event that Barrichello could, for whatever reason, no longer serve in the role.
The Spaniard has previously served as the group’s president during the 2008-9 Formula 1 seasons.
“The agreement we had at the end of last season was that if Rubens would not be in Formula 1, then I would take over,” de la Rosa said at the launch of HRT’s new challenger, the F112, in Barcelona.
“That was the vote from the drivers, so I will take over.
But it’s only because Rubens is not here. Otherwise he was doing a super job and everyone was happy for him to continue. It’s a position I have inherited, and I’m happy to continue my work from two years ago.”
The GPDA acts as the lobbying body for all drivers to lobby track officials and the sport’s governing body regarding rule and safety concerns. Membership is not compulsory among the drivers.
“I think the GPDA is a much more important organisation than some people might think. The fact that we are nearly all together, it makes us very strong. The atmosphere in the meetings is good – there are no problems between the drivers.”
It is believed that Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel will be re-elected to their roles as directors of the GPDA; a vote is expected to confirm this during the Australian Grand Prix.
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