FEBRUARY 26, 1996
Superlicence problems smolder on
THE F1 drivers testing at Estoril last Wednesday met in the evening to discuss the current problems with the FIA regarding the Superlicence Application Forms, which the top drivers are unwilling to sign because they say it will compromise their insurance coverage.
The forms ask drivers to confirm that they have insured their retainer; that they accept that all the tracks are safe and that no action will be taken against the FIA or other competitors in the event of an accident. Some of the drivers are unwilling to do this because they fear insurers will refuse to handle them, because they will have signed away the chance to assist insurers in offsetting their losses with action against a third party.
The drivers do not really have cause to complain about the tracks as each one been carefully studied by Gerhard Berger in his role on the FIA Advisory Expert Group, while Michael Schumacher also represents the drivers on the FIA Safety Commission.
FIA president Max Mosley says he has no plans for discussions with the drivers, and they will either sign the applications and be issued with licenses or will choose not to compete.
The governing body argues from a strong position because, traditionally, it has been virtually impossible for the drivers to agree on any united action, because each is the subject of very different demands from teams and sponsors, and some simply cannot justify causing problems because it would jeopardize their careers.