The Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA) claims to have attained full membership of the Formula 1 grid heading into the 2018 season as it looks to curb the 'growing threats' to the sport's future.

The GPDA has acted as a union for F1 drivers since being reformed in 1994, but has rarely enjoyed full support, with Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen being two prominent figures not signed up to it in recent years.

However, chairman and ex-F1 driver Alexander Wurz has revealed the body now has unanimous support from the F1 grid heading into 2018 at a time when the sport is nearing a crossroads over its future under new owner Liberty Media.

"F1 is entering a period of evolution, change and perhaps even a degree of turmoil. They recognise they must be united and represented to face that challenge," Wurz said, as quoted by BBC Sport.

"[Drivers want to] prevent any politics or power fights from ultimately compromising on-track performance. The drivers believe unity is fundamental for the sport's success.

"We are all particularly proud that the new cars, with their faster cornering speeds, had such great effect. The drivers love them and we have seen an instant increase in viewership and followers.

"The GPDA pushed for this rule direction for the last three years. Happy drivers are F1's best sales tool."

Wurz stressed that F1 had to take into consideration the demands and requests of its drivers in a bid to improve the on-track product, with the understanding of a desire to make it easier to follow other cars on-track being a positive example of this in the GPDA's eyes.

"We are glad that Liberty and their technical research team followed the GPDA's suggestion from more than a year ago, where we wished for a less sensitive airflow concept of aerodynamic-related rules in order to be able to race closer. That's just one example and one of many the drivers have in mind," Wurz said.

"We don't need a seat at the table, because the drivers are in the driving seat anyhow. Besides, I would be surprised if any of the key stakeholders would invite the drivers to the F1 decision-making table.

"The GPDA demands only that the sport remains the centre of attention and we want to hold everyone in the decision-making process accountable for their actions and decisions.

"All adjustments to the sport should only be done and conducted in the best interest of the sport and not of any one individual.

"This is what unites the drivers: the sheer will to keep F1 as the pinnacle of motor racing."

However, Wurz said there was a need to be united at a time when a number of threats to F1 are emerging, as well as identifying the need to revise the sport's commercial structure as being a key target.

"We have so many, and now too many, contributing factors which dilute this simple core value, and every day the list of threats to F1 grows," Wurz said.

"Thank God the underlying product is so strong, but previous business decisions and political power battles have already scarred the sport, so it needs very careful and considerate adjustments to the sport and its rules.

"But also F1's business model cripples the sport's progress and would need readjustments."



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