March 26, 2009 / 10:20 AM / 10 years ago

Motor racing-Hamilton becomes part of the union

MELBOURNE, March 26 (Reuters) - McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton has finally joined the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association after winning the Formula One world championship last year.

The 24-year-old Briton had resisted joining what amounts to the drivers’ union in his first two seasons in the sport but he told reporters at the Australian Grand Prix on Thursday that he had relented.

“I had been thinking about it for some time, but I’m not the type of person to be pushed into something I don’t want to do,” he said.

“I just felt comfortable and sat down, had a good chat with (McLaren reserve driver and GPDA chairman) Pedro (de la Rosa) and I said yes because it is something where perhaps I can contribute,” he added.

The GPDA represents the drivers in talks with the governing International Automobile Federation concerning safety and other issues.

The body has also been campaigning for a reduction in the cost of the mandatory super-licence required by all drivers to compete in Formula One.

The FIA said after a meeting with the GPDA this week that the fee would be cut for 2010. This season, as champion, Hamilton had to pay some $270,000 for his licence. (Editing by N.Ananthanarayanan; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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