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SBD Global/November 6, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Motorsports Governing Body FIA Increases License Fees For F1 Drivers' Super License

Motorsports governing body FIA "will not only increase the starting fees for F1 teams but also the license fees for F1 drivers," according to Roman Wittemeier of MOTORSPORT-TOTAL.com. F1 drivers need a so-called super license that allows them to drive in the racing series. McLaren F1 Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh said, "The proposed increase would lead to a basic fee of €10,000 ($12,800) for the super license plus €1,000 ($1,280) for each world championship point." Whitmarsh shows understanding for FIA's "idea of increasing its revenue" in that manner. Besides, as team principal he is not concerned with super license fees. McLaren driver Jenson Button, who won the world championship in '09, said, "When I won the title, it became really expensive. I had to pay pay an estimated €1M ($1.28M), if I remember correctly." Button added, "I don't think it's a good idea that drivers have to pay different amounts for their super license. If you get a regular driver's license, you don't have to pay more if you drive more kilometers or a faster car. However, the title was worth every single penny" (MOTORSPORT-TOTAL.com, 11/5).

IT'S ALL ABOUT TALENT: ISPORTCONNECT.com reported that Lotus Chief Commercial Officer Stephen Curnow "has discussed the increased sponsorship merits of Lotus F1's current driver line-up and suggested driver are selected based on their talent rather than the monetary value they bring through sponsors." While many teams use "pay drivers," who are brought in "as much for sponsorship opportunities as for driving talent," Curnow said that Lotus has "taken a more long-term view." Curnow said, "We made a decision last year to find the best two drivers to bring on-track success to the team, even if that meant sacrificing short-term revenue" (ISPORTCONNECT.com, 11/5).
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