Button becomes GPDA director

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Jenson Button has become a director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association following the organisation’s latest meeting.

The GPDA has been the main driver body in Formula One since 1961, working to improve standards of safety, as well as ensuring the sport maintains the interest of the drivers. Maintained and run by the drivers, the GPDA does have significant power within the sport.

There are multiple directors within the GPDA, and Button will join Sebastian Vettel in the role, whilst Felipe Massa, who persuaded Michael Schumacher to rejoin the organisation in 2010, steps down.

Pedro de la Rosa remains chairman, continuing his second term. de la Rosa took up the role in 2008 before stepping down in 2010. However, after the retirement of Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari test driver de la Rosa took up the position once again last season.

Having spent 13 years in Formula One, Button brings a great deal of experience to the role, and he could be in line to become chairman at the end of de la Rosa’s tenure.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).