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Volume 6 No. 215

Leagues and Governing Bodies

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 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" (, 11/5).

IT'S ALL ABOUT TALENT: 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" (, 11/5).

Australian sportswear company Skins is seeking $2M in damages from the Int'l Cycling Union (UCI), claiming its brand has been "damaged by the mismanagement of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal," according to Neil Hume of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Skins has backed cycling teams since '08 and supplied the USA Cycling team with race suits at the London Olympics. The company alleges UCI is responsible for a “total loss of confidence” in professional cycling that has harmed its brand. In a letter sent to UCI, the company said, “Skins was under the illusion that professional cycling had been fundamentally reformed to contain doping and minimise the risk of scandals with which the brand of any sponsor could be associated” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/5). Skins Chair Jaimie Fuller said in a statement that the legal action letter was to send a message to UCI and its leaders that "gross mismanagement and betrayal of trust is completely unacceptable" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/4). Fuller's statement continued: "The events of the last several months have made it abundantly clear that world cycling has not been the sport the general public and the corporate partners thought it was" (PA, 11/5). reported that the UCI has "commissioned an independent investigation" into the Armstrong affair after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency claimed Armstrong led "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen" (, 11/5). The IOC will investigate Armstrong's 2000 Sydney Olympics Bronze Medal after the American was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles (REUTERS, 11/1).