The cost for the most exclusive of driving licenses is due to rise this year. This will affect less than fifty drivers who are privileged enough and talented enough to drive a Formula 1 car. Follow the jump to find out how much drivers are expected to cough up for the 2009 season. You probably won’t believe your eyes.
In order to join this elite group, you must hold an FIA superlicense, the most exclusive and expensive rating a competition driver can achieve. My last FIA license (National Level Rally Co-Driver) costs about $100.00 per year to renew, Lewis Hamilton’s will cost 216,000 euros this year, just over CDN$350,000, according to GrandPrix.com.
The FIA has raised its rate for the superlicense, from 10,000 euros plus 2,000 euros per point, by 400 euros and 100 euros per point. In 2007 this license cost 1,725 euros plus 456 euros per point. Therefore, for a driver like Hamilton with 98 World Championship points the license in 2007 would have cost 46,413 euros, 206,000 euros for 2008 and, 216,000 euros for the 2009 season.
The Grand Prix Drivers Association is threatening not to renew their licenses for 2009 in protest of the latest rate hike (Hamilton is not a member of the GPDA). The FIA claim the fees are used for safety advances that mostly benefit the drivers.
Now, if you were thinking of applying for your superlicense this season, don’t be put off by Lewis Hamilton’s rate. If you earned no points in Formula 1 last season your fee would be only 10,100 euros or $16, 564 CDN. (Those 98 points up the ante a little).