FIA set up new Drivers’ Commission

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The FIA has confirmed the creation of a new body, the Drivers’ Commission.

At the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Geneva today, the decision was made to set up the body which will represent the rights and interests of drivers in many different disciplines including single seater racing, touring cars and rallying.

The single seater panel includes drivers all with Formula One experience.

Nigel Mansell won the 1992 world championship with Williams, and he is widely regarded as being one of the greatest British drivers to have raced in Formula One. He is also the most recent Briton to drive for Ferrari, where he received the nickname Il leone.

Karun Chandhok spent just one season in Formula One in 2010 with the now-defunct HRT F1 Team. Despite not scoring any points, he instantly became one of the most likable members of the paddock, and Chandhok was a great advocate of his home race, the Indian Grand Prix. Most recently, he has been racing in endurance series.

Maria de Villota tested for Marussia last season, but an accident in a straight line test resulted in the loss of her right eye, ending her career.

Besides the members of the panel, two time world champion Emerson Fittipaldi has been named President of the Drivers’ Commission.

The new body will help drivers in all forms of motorsport to be more vocal, and it will be interesting to see what the Drivers’ Commission achieves over the coming season.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).