Schu, Alonso, may snub key ’GPDA’ meeting

UPDATE (GMM) Michael Schumacher has dismissed suggestions that he might boycott Friday's highly-anticipated meeting of the 'GPDA' drivers' union.

The German, a keen football fan, earlier indicated that he did not want to miss a kick of the opening World Cup game on television, but he told reporters at Silverstone that – also despite controversy surrounding his Monaco penalty – he would make an appearance.

However, Schumacher – who had a couple of spins on the uncharacteristically slippery circuit on Friday – insisted: ''Hopefully we will keep the meeting as brief as possible, because we all want to watch the soccer.''

He also played down wild expectations such as removal from directorship of the body. ''I don't think anything in particular is going to happen,'' said the 37-year-old Ferrari driver.

But Williams' Mark Webber, a key figure in the GPDA, was not excluding anything: ''You shouldn't rule anything out,'' he said.

06/09/06 (GMM) In the shadow of the World Cup, and with a home-grown win unlikely for the British grand prix, it is no surprise that the biggest story out of Silverstone is a planned meeting on Friday of the 'GPDA' body.

Undoubtedly, Michael Schumacher is going to be asked by his fellow racers to explain honestly what happened in the 'Rascasse' corner two weeks ago at Monaco.

Some, though, suggest that his continuing role as a director is now untenable.

''I am not going to beg for forgiveness,'' said the German at Silverstone, while it is rumored that Schumacher might not even attend the meeting as it clashes with the opening game – Germany versus Costa Rica – of the Cup.

He added: ''I don't mind talking about it, so long as we can be reasonable. But I would rather look ahead.''

It is clear whose side title rival Fernando Alonso is on, but the Spaniard informed the press on Thursday that – as per usual – he won't even bother attending the drivers' summit.

''I have no interest,'' he mumbled. ''I will get (Giancarlo) Fisichella to tell me about it!''

Alongside Schumacher, arguably the driving force of the safety-oriented GPDA is actually David Coulthard, who attacked the valor of those who got stuck into Ferrari's number one in the press but will not confront their rival face-to-face.

The Scot, who nonetheless confirmed that drivers would vote on Friday on whether Schumacher should be stripped of his directorship, said: ''I think (that shows) a lack of a man.

''After the vote we should get on with the business of driver and track safety.''

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