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F1 licence fee protest stumbles as three drivers sign

The stand-off between the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) and FIA over the hike in Formula 1 licence fees in 2009 has taken a step in the latter's favour with the news that three drivers have paid up for the mandatory super-licences.

Last week it was revealed that the new increase in the price of the super-licence – in-line with inflation – has met with considerable opposition amongst the sport's competitors [see separate story – click here]. In 2008, the governing body dramatically increased the cost of a licence from €1,690 ($2,165) to €10,000, with each point scored coming at a price of an additional €2,000, up from €447 in 2007.

Such a significant jump means reigning F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, for example, will have to pay a staggering $270,000 merely to be able to compete this year. The GPDA has advised its members not to agree until talks have been held with the FIA – describing the rise as 'unreasonable' and 'inherently unfair' – but three drivers, it now transpires, have gone against that counsel.

“We can confirm that the FIA has received payment from three drivers,” a spokesman for the governing body told international news agency Reuters, whilst not divulging any further details or names.

FIA President Max Mosley, however, gave short shrift to the GPDA's argument, and is adamant that no money means no racing – even if rumours of a drivers' strike during the curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne at the end of next month should the deadlock not be broken seem somewhat fanciful.

“In the present climate, somebody who is earning several million a year and doesn't want to spend one or two per cent of that to get a licence for his trade is not going to get a lot of sympathy,” the 68-year-old contended.


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John VFR - Unregistered

February 12, 2009 12:13 PM

Fair points,they do make a huge ammount of money in their relatively short and dangerous careers and relative to that the licence fee would appear small.However,look at the percentage increase (590% if my calcs are correct) and as a point of principle I can understand their grievance."In line with inflation" Since when were the FIA based in Uganda! Hornets nest duly opened!

rich ard

February 13, 2009 11:35 AM

it amazes me to see so many posters who think that max is solely responsible for the licence fee, and that he is pocketing the fees himself. this decision was a decision by FIA, which consists of a number of motor sport bodies, max is only the SPOKESMAN! so i think that it is only the small minded that make the personal attacks.



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