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Multi-millionaire F1 drivers furious over fee hike

  • Story Highlights
  • Lewis Hamilton joins a chorus of drivers angry over license fee increase
  • Fernando Alonso tells BBC radio that strike action is a possibility
  • Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Mark Webber reject talk of strike
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By CNN's Glen Scanlon
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(CNN) -- Lewis Hamilton has joined a chorus of Formula One drivers expressing their anger over an increase in their license fees, but at the same time rejected a call for them to strike.

Fernando Alonso and other Formula Drivers are not happy with a hike in their license fees.

Renault's Fernando Alonso, a director of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (the drivers' union), raised the specter of a strike Thursday after the FIA earlier this year hiked the fees they pay to be licensed to drive in the sport.

Last year the super licence fee was $2,700 plus $713 per point won during grands prix.

But this season the licence fee was increased to $15,700 plus $3,130 per point won.

Alonso told the BBC's Radio Five Live that the hike was a "ridiculous amount."

"We should pay a reasonable price. It cannot change 1,000 percent in a year."

Asked whether drivers may protest via a strike, Alonso said: "We don't have many possibilities.

"But for sure it's one of the options we are talking about... we need to do something together because as a group we have more effect than as a single person."

However, Hamilton, speaking at a French Grand Prix press conference Friday, said he did not believe a strike would take place.

"I don't believe for one minute that the drivers will take such drastic measures. We have the British Grand Prix in a couple of weeks' time and other grands prix to follow, and I'm certainly not planning on missing any of them."

Hamilton, who is not a member of the GDPA, said that he did support drivers' claims over the licence fee hike.

Red Bull driver Mark Webber, another director of the GDPA, played down talk of a strike at Silverstone, but confirmed that they were taking the issue very seriously.

"It's absolutely clear that we are not happy with the super-licence situation and how much they charge, but I find it very unrealistic to think that we won't race at Silverstone."

Webber drew an analogy with football star Cristiano Ronaldo, saying he did not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to play for Manchester United.

Kimi Raikkonen said a strike would "never happen," while David Coulthard dismissed talk of a strike as rubbish.


The multi-millionaire drivers are unlikely to get much sympathy from fans if they do take action.

FIA president Max Mosley has reportedly agreed to meet with them to discuss the situation.

All About Fernando AlonsoLewis HamiltonJarno TrulliKimi RaikkonenMonacoFormula One Racing

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