Latest F1 news in brief

  • Drivers threaten strike over license fees
  • Ecclestone daughter bags F1 paddock job
  • Rain possible for French grand prix
  • Coulthard muses 'plans' for life after F1

Drivers threaten strike over license fees
(GMM) Formula one drivers are threatening to boycott the British grand prix next month, according to reports.

They claim the radical increase to the cost of their mandatory FIA superlicenses this year was unfair.

Previous to 2008, superlicences cost drivers just 1,690 euros plus 447 euros per point scored in the most recent world championship.

But the World Motor Sport Council in January approved an increase in the cost of a superlicense to 10,000 euros, plus 2,000 euros per point.

It means that reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen's 2008 license cost 230,000 euros.

The German specialist magazine Auto Motor und Sport reports that the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) is requesting an urgent meeting with FIA president Max Mosley prior to the forthcoming Silverstone race.

If Mosley does not agree to lower the cost of their superlicenses, the drivers are reportedly prepared to strike.

An unnamed proponent of the threatened strike action said the FIA's fee increase is particularly harsh for drivers like Robert Kubica, the new championship leader.

"He is not yet earning an awful lot, but his license costs nearly a tenth of his income," the driver said.

Ecclestone daughter bags F1 paddock job
(GMM) F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone's 24-year-old daughter is now a regular in the grand prix paddocks of the world.

She is working for Italian broadcaster Sky, as a paddock reporter on the prowl for "interesting tales to tell", according to the British newspaper Daily Telegraph.

Ecclestone is English, and the daughter of Croatian-born former model Slavica Ecclestone, but she presents in Italian.

Tamara, who said she is determined not to be portrayed as a pointless socialite like Paris Hilton, also speaks Croatian and French.

"I want a career. A proper one. I want to show people that I actually do something and that I'm good at it.

"I want there to be more to my life than being famous for getting out of a car with no knickers on," she added.

Rain possible for French grand prix
(GMM) Rain could yet again be a factor as the formula one circus convenes for its next grand prix.

As the drivers and media congregate at the Magny Cours circuit on Thursday, a few scattered clouds will fill the sky, according to local reports.

Friday will also be cloudy but dry.

But on Saturday, there is up to a 60 per cent chance of rain for the afternoon, when qualifying for the French grand prix is scheduled to take place.

Sunday will be a warm 30 degrees (C), but there will also be a chance of thunderstorms, albeit slightly lower than on Saturday.

Coulthard muses 'plans' for life after F1
(GMM) David Coulthard may be warming to the idea that his long career in formula one is nearing an end.

The German specialist magazine Auto Motor und Sport claims that only "a miracle" will now prevent Red Bull Racing from fielding its preferred lineup of Mark Webber alongside Sebastian Vettel in 2009.

Asked about the speculation, Scot Coulthard, who has contested 236 grands prix, coyly replied: "I have plans for the future."

He admits it is unlikely that his plans will involve a switch to another F1 team, and also played down the possibility of following his friend Jacques Villeneuve to NASCAR.

"I doubt it would satisfy me," Coulthard said. "After formula one, everything else is a step down."

Auto Motor und Sport reports that the most likely next move for Coulthard is a management role at RBR, but it is also rumored that he has been offered a spot as an expert pundit for British television in 2009.

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