(GMM) While Formula 1 drivers once shied away from overt politics, that era is well and truly over now.
That is the view of Alex Wurz, a former driver who is now president of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association.
“I think we’ve seen a decisive change,” he told Kurier newspaper.
The Austrian said it was only “four or five years ago” when no driver wanted to go near political and social issues like human rights, racism and sustainability.
That has changed, said Wurz.
“Sport is now political. It’s not neutral,” he said. “It’s impossible to be neutral.”
The former Williams and Benetton driver said drivers are no longer shy to “take responsibility and represent the values that we all want to see”.
Wurz has been GPDA president since 2014, and he says in just the last few years the atmosphere of the representative body’s regular meetings have also changed.
“Sometimes we just give them a forum to talk,” he said, admitting he is often impressed with how much thought today’s drivers give to peripheral issues.
“That’s the key, also for the sustainability of the sport,” said Wurz, who also hailed seven time world champion as a “fantastic driver” for change.