F1 divided over licence row
London - Three F1 drivers have paid up for their mandatory racing super-licences despite a row between the drivers' union and the governing body over the fees demanded, the FIA said on Wednesday.
"We can confirm that the FIA (International Automobile Federation) has received payment from three drivers," a spokesman said.
No names or details were given. There could be as few as 18 race drivers this season if the Honda team is not rescued before the first race in Australia on March 29.
The Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA), which effectively represents all drivers on the grid despite some like McLaren's world champion Lewis Hamilton not being members, has advised drivers to delay signing super-licences pending talks.
Hamilton, 24, will have to pay $270 000 for his licence this season.
The row dates back to last year when the FIA raised the cost of a licence from 1 690 euros to 10 000 with each point costing a further 2,000 euros compared to 447 in 2007.
The GPDA, many of whose members are multi-millionaires, said in a statement at the weekend the hike was unfair and accused the FIA of using them as a revenue stream to fill holes in the budget.
FIA president Max Mosley has dismissed the complaints, saying last week: "In the present climate, somebody who is earning several million a year and doesn't want to spend one or two percent of that to get a licence for his trade is not going to get a lot of sympathy".