FIA Formula One Super License regulations a ‘fantasy’

FIA Formula One Super License regulations are for now a fantasy

Following Red Bull family’s recruitment of Max Verstappen to race in Formula One whilst just 17, the FIA decided enough was enough. A new set of tough regulations was designed to prevent ‘kids’ from stepping into an F1 race car and also to discourage drivers who had not demonstrated they could be competitive in other racing series. To race in Formula One a driver requires a super license and to qualify for one of these they must score 40 points from the following table in the three years preceding their application:

FIA superlicense table

For the record Max Verstappen would not have qualified to drive in 2015, having just 20 points to his name from racing in previous seasons.

However, with today’s announcement that Rio Haryanto will drive alongside Pascal Wehrlein for Manor F1 this year, this means neither of this year’s rookie F1 drivers qualify for an F1 super license under the FIA’s new regulations. Both drivers do though qualify to drive in F1 because they have held one previously.

Clearly, it will take some years for the FIA to flush out these kind of drivers form the system and for their much lauded system of proper accreditation to become a reality.

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6 responses to “FIA Formula One Super License regulations a ‘fantasy’

  1. From the Appendix L:

    5.1.7 The driver must also satisfy at least one of the following requirements:
    a) Have accumulated at least 40 points during the three-year period
    preceding his application (Championships and points listed in
    Supplement 2.
    b) Have been granted a Super Licence (excluding Free Practice Only
    Super Licence) in any of the previous 3 seasons.
    c) Have been granted a Super Licence prior to the previous 3 seasons
    (excluding Free Practice Only Super Licence). In this case, the
    driver must be judged by the FIA to have recently and consistently
    demonstrated outstanding ability in single-seater formula cars.
    d) Have finished first in the FIA Formula E Championship of the
    previous year.

    Point b) applies to both of them.

  2. I like how the this article goes from this new rule being a fantasy to it actually just requiring some time to flush out a few drivers that already have a license from before the rule was brought to life. ‘There’s a problem! Well, actually there’s no problem.’

    Personally I think the rule was put into place a bit took quick, even before Max had shown his driving skills in F1. In hindsight no one will say he wasn’t good enough. There should be a rule that prevents slow pay drivers getting into the sport, not one that blocks talented youngsters. There’s a good reason Max got so many minutes of TV time last year; he was where most of the action was. And isn’t that what the sport wants? The romance of the youngster outracing a 4x world champion (Vettel, Austin) in the rain, overtaking where no one else has in the past (Blanchimont, Spa) is a great addition to the sport!

    • Yes but under this system Max would likely ended up in F1 anyway – he’d just first need to spend a few years showing off his speed in GP2 or whatever and building up enough points. I kinda like this system, it should end up transitioning F1 away from simple pay drivers with no experience to drivers who have actually proved themselves. If they stay with it, of course.

  3. Too complicated. Scrap the points system. Have all current F1 Super License drivers’ times averaged on the last Q1, Q2, and Q3 of the season. Any driver needing a Super License for the following year must qualify under the 107% time rule.
    That keeps “Pay Drivers” at bay and encourages teams to stay honest-on-talent development.

  4. I call BS. I’d be all for anyone hopping in the car during a practice session, or perhaps a special 1-car-at-a-time session. If they can set a competitive time, let them race. There should be no artificial restrictions on age, let’s make this ability-based. Either you can drive an F1 car to a competitive time or you can’t. Simple as that.

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