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Mosley: Unhappy F1 drivers can look elsewhere

MOTOR racing chief Max Mosley has told Formula One drivers to race elsewhere if they are unwilling to pay for their super-licences.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) president, replying to a statement issued by the Grand Prix Drivers' Association last week, said the fees demanded for the mandatory licences were reasonable.

In a letter to drivers copied to Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone, Mosley also offered an olive branch by assuring them any future rises would be limited to inflation.

The Monaco-based Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) has advised members to stall on signing their super-licences pending talks on what they consider to be unfair hikes in the fees demanded by the FIA from the start of last year.

The GPDA has also accused the FIA of using them as a revenue stream to fill holes in the budget.

McLaren's 24-year-old world champion Lewis Hamilton, who is not a GPDA member, will have to pay US$270,000 for his licence under the points-based system. His earnings are estimated to be in the tens of millions, however.

"Apart from Formula One there are a large number of series and championships where a professional racing driver can earn a good, sometimes very good, living," Mosley wrote in the February 11 letter.

"The costs of such licences are fixed by the relevant ASN (national sporting authority) but are usually modest. A driver who does not want, or even cannot afford to pay for, a Formula One super-licence thus has many alternatives.

"The drivers who compete in Formula One are, in general, by far the highest paid motor sport competitors," continued Mosley.

"It seems reasonable they should make a tax-deductible contribution to the safety and running of the sport from which they benefit so greatly."

Mosley said such measures had "saved the lives of many super-licence holders" but did not pay for themselves.

"I do hope you will all see the fairness of our position and decide to continue to drive in the Formula One world championship," he concluded.

"If it helps I can confirm increases will be limited to inflation for the foreseeable future."


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