GPDA Make Official Superlicense Request to FIA

The Grand Prix Drivers Association will not sit back and watch how superlicense fees inside Formula 1 increase year after year. The F1 drivers are currently taking their time to sign the new superlicense agreements for 2009, as the new fees have increased due to the inflation. Under the current status, the fees for an F1 champion would become the most expensive licence payable by any sportsperson in the world.

And that's mainly because the fees were increased dramatically following the 2007 season. The license that used to cost only 1,690 Euros until 2007 was brought to 10,000 Euros in 2008, while the points' fees were raised from 447 euros per point to 2,000 euros per point. The fees are to be further increased in 2009, with drivers having to pay some extra 400 Euros per license and 100 Euros per point scored.

Following FIA's Max Mosley commenting that drivers' request to lower the fees are simply “nonsense”, the GPDA issued a long statement calling the increase in fees unjustified. The statement also suggests that the matter has been privately discussed with Mosley and they are waiting for FIA to recalculate the fees based on its 2007 index.

“The drivers contend that the Super Licence fees should not be a revenue stream for the FIA and such a change constitutes a major departure in principle for both past Super Licence fees and fees for any other drivers' licences. The FIA should raise sufficient funds from the exploitation of its commercial rights,” said the statement.

“As a principle, the drivers should not be taxed to fund the costs of others fulfilling their legal duty to the drivers. It is the teams' duty to provide the driver with a safe car, it is the circuit owners' duty to provide a safe circuit and it is the duty of the manufacturers to provide helmets, fireproof overalls, etc. fit for the purpose of safety.”

“These increases were made without any prior consultation with the drivers, and the first the drivers knew of the increases was when the invoices were received by their respective teams and via the media in January 2008. The proposed increases are inherently unfair, both in the way they were introduced and the way they impact on individual drivers.”

“Since these increases were introduced by the FIA, they have been opposed unanimously by the drivers because they are unreasonable and unfair. The GPDA has - on behalf of all drivers holding Super Licences including the non-GPDA members - appropriately and professionally sought to resolve the issue privately with the FIA throughout the 2008 season, culminating in a meeting with Mr. Mosley at the Italian Grand Prix last September which opened up the way for further discussion.”

“This included a request from the FIA to the drivers to disclose their gross earnings. However, Mr. Mosley is incorrect in his claim to the media that he had not received an answer from the drivers as a letter was sent by the GPDA in December declining the request because it was not relevant to ascertaining the appropriate Super Licence fees.”

“In fact, Mr. Mosley himself alluded to such confidentiality in recent correspondence with the GPDA. On the subject of whether the Super Licence is paid by the team or the individual, Mr. Mosley concluded it was a private contractual matter between the driver and his team, and not a matter for the FIA.”

“Therefore, the drivers have offered to pay the 2007 Super Licence fees adjusted upwards by inflation for the 2008 season with a corresponding increase for the 2009 season.” concluded the statement.
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