Daily Debate: Are Licenses For Team Bosses A Good Idea?

Daily Debate: Are Licenses For Team Bosses A Good Idea?

In the wake of the Renault race-fixing scandal from 2008 that came to light a year later in 2009, new FIA president Jean Todt wants team bosses to hold licenses, much like the drivers who compete in motorsport events. On paper, it seems like a good idea, especially as Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds (the two men charged over Nelson Piquet Jr’s ‘accident’) are currently in the process of overturning their bans. By holding a license it would mean that the bosses can essentially have these taken away if they do wrong, and therefore can be banished from the sport should a crime be serious enough.

Also, as we have seen with the driver’s super licenses, it could also prove to be a nice little earner for the FIA. In 2008 and again in 2009, and while under the guidance of Max Mosley, the super license fees were updated to reflect a driver’s worth, basing the fee on the amount of points accrued in the previous season as well as a flat fee and a charge for insurance. While this may not be applicable to the bosses (unless it was based on the constructor points), the FIA could top up their funds with this idea.

However, while having a control over the bosses may be a good thing, it can also be a bad thing. Max Mosley caused a bit of unnecessary unpopularity over his updating of the driver’s fees, and that could very easily be repeated if Todt isn’t careful. Furthermore, it can also give some people a little too much power, meaning that the sport could be damaged if the wrong decisions were made. Usually, one would have to say that is a very rare occurrence, but this is Formula One, and while Mosley is no longer the president, we are yet to see exactly how Todt handles himself and the organisation he resides over.

Are licenses for team bosses a good idea?


  • I think it’s inevitable that the team bosses and other senior staff will get licences, if only because being in one of those those professions is, well, a profession and should come with professional rights and responsibilities. Whether the FIA is the right organisation to be issuing them is a valid question, but I think the answer is yes. What we do need is for the judicial and psuedopoliticking elements of the FIA to be sorted out – F1 is supposed to be a sport, not a psuedopolitical plaything.

  • You don’t have to have a license to be a football manager, a tennis coach, or a baseball manager. F1 should be no difference. The superlincense fee thing is weired, too. You have too pay more because you did a better job? That’s not right to me.

  • You have to have a licence to be a professional football manager in Britain or several other European countries, at least if the club is in the Premier League or national equivalent and you intend to manage it for more than 12 weeks. The qualification is the UEFA Pro Licence and requires 240 hours of study (taking about a year when done part-time) even if you have previous successful Football League experience, which is a lot more commitment than the FIA is proposing. Dispensations have been awarded in the past, but not very often. Lower levels of licence are needed for lower divisions. The major difference between football and the proposed FIA system is that UEFA currently can’t strike off someone from the list once they’ve passed.

    Tennis coach licences are issued by the LTA in Britain, but as far as I can tell David is right about it not being necessary to attend a competition as a coach. Baseball managers do not appear to have licence requirements either.

    However, I do know from personal experience that in disabled swimming, you have to have a licence to be a team representative in any gala run by any of the major governing bodies in the UK (there are three, each requiring separate registration). You can coach at a licenced club without a personal licence, but whoever is running the team at any given gala must have the relevant paperwork. Without that licence, you can’t field a swimming team at even the regional-level galas. And this is a sport where very few people get paid even at Paralympic level. (Even though the competitors are similarly amateur, they all have to have licences to enter the events as well).

    When the most expensive and one of the most prestigious sport in the world expects lower professional standards than a local gala down the road, you know there’s a problem…

  • I did’t know you need a license to be a football manager in PL, sorry for the mistake.

    My thought is that the only reason FIA proposed the license thing is in case someone did things wrong, they could get him out of the sport. Since teams pay the managers, they definitely find someone qualified.

    But I think if a manager did something as bad as Flavio did, team themselves would fired him immediately, or they loose the supporters. I don’t really trust the judgement the FIA made, we fans made better decisions.

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