Super License Causing Anger Among Drivers

Super License Causing Anger Among Drivers

Prior to the 2008 season-start last March, the FIA announced changes to the fees for the super license, a requirement for all competing drivers in FIA organised motor sports. In 2007, Kimi Raikkonen would have had to hand over €51,805, made up of a flat fee of €1,725 plus a further €456 per point earned. However, the FIA have increased these costs to €10,000 and €2,000 per point, increasing the overall cost for Kimi to an estimated €230,000. Needless to say, the drivers aren’t too happy about this.

The drivers say they were not consulted on the changes and as previously reported on BlogF1, the reasons for the sudden and dramatic hike were not fully explained. There had been rumours of a strike at the British Grand Prix in July, and while GPDA director Fernando Alonso believes a strike may be a possibility, Robert Kubica is under the impression it won’t come to that and Kimi Raikkonen would prefer to find a more diplomatic solution.

It is a very serious matter, and we were talking about [the] superlicence price in the last couple of GPDA meetings. It has to be agreed between us, and we all agree that it is not fair that from one year to the next it increases 500-600 percent.

It is something we need to look at, and I don’t know what will be the solution and what will be our effort, but if there is a strike in Silverstone then maybe it is one possibility. Fernando Alonso.

For sure I support the thing. I don’t think there is any reason for us to go on strike and not race. A strike is never going to happen, that all the drivers will do it, so hopefully some nice solution will be found someway. Kimi Raikkonen.

According to Autosport, Max Mosley had said at the start of the year the increase in fees was down to trying to avoid huge costs for young drivers just entering the sport. I must have missed this quote, but if we take this as accurate, young McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has faced a pretty steep bill for his debut 2007 campaign.

Mark Webber, another GPDA director, has also gone on record to Autosport, stating that he agrees with his fellow drivers and finds the costs high, but also quelled any possibility of a strike at Silverstone.

It’s absolutely clear that we are not happy with the superlicence situation and how much they charge, but I find it very unrealistic that we won’t race. We should just have a chat with Bernie. He’s got common sense, and we should see what he says. Let’s see if we can improve the situation and make it a bit more professional. Mark Webber.

While I agree with Webber that discussions are the way forward at the moment, I don’t fully understand where Ecclestone comes into it. Relationships between Ecclestone and Mosley are probably not the best at the moment, and this issue doesn’t directly involve the sport’s commerical rights holder.

Either way, Max Mosley has said that he will make himself available for talks should the drivers want and Webber is confident that some kind of compromise can be found in the coming weeks.

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3 comments

  • I can understand a licence fee for drivers. I’m not so sure a per-point fee is appropriate.

  • The pay-per-point thing is just crazy, as highlighted by many new(ish) drivers last year. Kubica did okay, Hamilton did very well, Kovalainen did alright. It doesn’t make sense.

    In my opinion, there should be a flat fee for all licenses. It may be a large cost or a low cost, but it should not differ between drivers.

  • “we should just have a word with Bernie” is a true indication of how to get things changed in F1 and of just who is running the show!

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