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FEBRUARY 11, 2009

Mosley replies to the drivers

FIA President Max Mosley has written to the Grand Prix Drivers Association, responding to their press release of last week, which complained about the price of Formula 1 Super Licences.

Mosley said that the FIA had not been able to draw any conclusions about whether the price rises had caused F1 drivers any "hardship" because they had refused to supply details about their earnings to the FIA. He said that confidentiality was not an issue as the FIA deals with highly confidential information from the teams all the time.

Mosley went on to say that F1 drivers have plenty of alternatives to Formula 1 if they wish to make a living, but added that "the drivers who compete in F1 are, in general, by far the highest paid motor sport competitors, so it seems reasonable that they should made a tax-deductible contribution to the safety and running of the sport from which they benefit so greatly".

He said that the efforts made by the FIA in relation to regulation and safety were both "necessary and of the highest standard" and pointed out that these "have saved the lives of many Super Licence holders". He added that these efforts "do not pay for themselves".

The letter concluded by saying that the FIA hoped that the drivers would understand the fairness of the FIA position and that they would decide to continue in the drive in Formula 1 in the future.

The relatively innocuous reply makes it very clear that if any of the F1 drivers do not want to meet the requirements for Super Licences, which include making the necessary payments, they are not going to be able to race in F1.