Alonso says up to Hamilton to join GPDA

Fernando Alonso

(GMM) Fernando Alonso on Thursday opted against adding to the pressure on his former McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton to join the F1 drivers' safety union, the GPDA.

Championship leader Hamilton's British compatriot David Coulthard today endorsed the view of Sir Jackie Stewart that Grand Prix Drivers' Association directors Pedro de la Rosa and Mark Webber are right to urge the 23-year-old to join the body.

Of the current F1 drivers, only Hamilton, Anthony Davidson, Adrian Sutil and world champion Kimi Raikkonen are not members.

But at Sepang, Alonso refused to criticize them for not signing up.

"Everyone has their own opinion," the Spaniard said. "They can make their own decisions."

Alonso pointed out that the GPDA works closely with the FIA to improve the race circuits and the safety of private testing; efforts that benefit the entire grid.

But Alonso insisted: "If someone does not want to join, that's fine — everyone has to decide for themselves.

"Naturally it would be nice if they did, but I will not say anything negative about them.

"Speaking for myself, I decided to join the GPDA because my life is at risk when I am driving the cars," he added.

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