Licence grumble nonsense, says Mosley
|By Jonathan Noble||Thursday, February 5th 2009, 19:06 GMT|
FIA president Max Mosley thinks that drivers' complaints that the high cost of the Formula One superlicence is causing them hardship are 'nonsense'.
F1 drivers are holding off in processing their mandatory superlicences as they await the outcome of moves to try to get the fee system restructured.
They are unhappy that over the past two seasons the superlicence fee has risen from 1,725 Euros plus 456 Euros per point in 2007, to 10,400 Euros plus 2100 Euros per point for this year.
As well as the rise, some believe the way that the fee for a driver goes up based purely on points is also unfair. Such a scenario could penalise a low paid driver who scores a lot of points.
One driver said: "It is like telling a car manufacturer that they will have to pay more taxes simply because they sell more cars, rather than basing it on profit. It would be fairer if the superlicence fee was based on earnings."
Mosley confirmed that the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) has written to the FIA to ask them to consider the situation, with him responding that he will look into the matter if they can provide details of their income. He said that he had not received an answer from the drivers yet.
"They said there was hardship, so I wrote to them saying that if you give me your total earnings I will have a look," explained Mosley during a media lunch in London on Thursday.
"Obviously if there is hardship then we will rearrange it. But for some reason they didn't want to give me their total earnings. (But) I think it is all nonsense. Anybody who has got a lot of points has got a lot of money."
The Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) is understood to have discussed the superlicence situation during its meeting earlier this week, but sources suggest the body would prefer for the matter to be sorted out between the drivers and the FIA without it getting involved.
Mosley made it clear that no driver would be allowed to compete in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix without a superlicence.
"I haven't had any superlicences put in front of me to sign by drivers, but that doesn't usually happen for another four or five weeks," he said. "All I can say is that nobody is going to drive in a world championship race in Australia unless they have a superlicence."
Mosley said he felt that the timing of the drivers' complaints was unwise because of the financial difficulties faced by the rest of the world.
"In the present climate, somebody who is earning several million a year and doesn't want to spend one or two percent of that to get a licence for his trade is not going to get a lot of sympathy," he said. "And maybe we will have a quiet Friday in Melbourne..."
The GPDA has declined to comment about the superlicence situation.