Sebastian Vettel has shared more insight into the issue of the drastic price increase the FIA has leveraged for the mandatory Super License in F1. Max used the press to publicly humiliate the GPDA members who groused about the price increase and claimed it was for safety. This week, the GPDA released their own statement to the press, which was to the point and expository without the berating often found in Max’s statement.

When asked about the current situation and a possible strike prior to Australia, Vettel said:

“Everyone should be careful about how they treat this topic because then we could get headlines saying ‘Drivers dissatisfied’ or ‘Drivers to strike’.

“That (a strike) has never been spoken about. But the fact that we are not happy with how the increases were presented to us has been made clear.

“We are open to cooperate with the FIA. But what happens in the future remains to be seen.”

Vettel says that all drivers, including non-GPDA members, are standing firm in the issue as they seek a solution with the FIA.

“This does not only have to do with the GPDA, but it comes from all drivers. The statement we issued summed everything up.”

“Now is the critical phase,” he explained. “At the end of last year it appeared that there was nothing else for us to pay, so it annoys us how this whole thing has developed and that it has not been sorted.”

I have to agree with the GPDA here in that Max is egregiously wrong for airing these issues in public and attempting to humiliate some drivers who claimed financial difficulties. The method was poor and should be apologized for. The GPDA should hold firm and request the percentage of safety cost increases to justify the price of a super license. Otherwise, it is just the FIA fleecing the drivers…irrespective of how much they make.

An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Jim

    I think it is reasonable to believe that some drivers may be facing financial difficulty. I am sure in the current economy some of them may have had investments go belly up, others may have handled their money poorly. Either way the last thing Max needed right now was to be picking a fight with the drivers over SuperLicense fees, considering how busy he is making a complete ass of himself in changing the rules. Why not just have a flat fee of 50,000(pounds,euros,lira,drachma whatever) and then mMax can focus on more important issues like passing his initiative for leather racing suits and lowering F1 team budgets to the cost of a Large Pizza

  • WonkyDave

    What I want to know is what’s Lewis’ REAL take on this? DerSeb alluded to him (Lewis being the biggest name non-GPDA member), but we haven’t heard from his mouth if he’s really on board with the GPDA. I think I’ll check PlanetF1’s “Minute-By-Minute Lewis Updates”. Hopefully, he’s out of the shower by now…

    In all seriousness, DerSeb has said the correct thing and kept himself away from any open flames that could burn him. But I would make the bet that the drivers will not strike. Not this year. Not in these tough economic times. And Max knows this. Yet another (underhanded) reason to raise the SL fees – and get away with it!

    • My hunch Dave? Lewis doesn’t pay his SL fees to begin with so he probably doesn’t care. ;)