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Drivers unhappy with super licence price hike 20 Jun 2008

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren; Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari; Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari and Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1 in the FIA Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, French Grand Prix, Preparations, Magny-Cours, France, Thursday, 19 June 2008

A number of drivers have expressed concerns over the increased price of the super licence required to compete in Formula One racing. Last year the cost was 1,725 euros plus 456 euros per point won. This year it is 10,000 euros plus 2,000 euros per point.

The rise has prompted discussions within the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA), which has raised the issue with Formula One’s governing body, the FIA. Their concern is not purely the level of the increase, but also the fact that the license price can vary hugely between drivers.

“(The cost) has increased quite a lot compared to last year, I think eight times, or something like that,” said BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica in France on Thursday. “It’s quite a lot of money, especially if you are scoring points like Lewis (Hamilton) did last year and it’s your first year in Formula One.

“But another point is that experienced drivers who don’t have a quick car are not scoring points, so they don’t care because they don’t have to pay. So I think it will be difficult to get all drivers to have the same idea, but we are trying to convince the FIA to reduce the cost.”

Echoing Kubica’s comments, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa said: “I don’t see a reason for the price to be different for the top drivers and the guys who are in smaller teams. I think the super licence has to be the same for everybody.”

Massa’s team mate and reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen was also in agreement, though the Finn was quick to play down reports suggesting that drivers could strike over the matter.

“Of course it’s better if it’s not so expensive and it’s the same for everybody, but I don’t think there’s any reason to go on strike and not race,” he said. “I don‘t think that’s the right way to go, but it would be nice if we could reduce it.”