11 July 2015
Superlicence point system revised
The means of qualifying for an F1 superlicence have been tweaked by the FIA to equalise some senior series and include a few other opportunities for young drivers.
The World Motor Sport Council has approved a reworking of the points allocated towards an F1 superlicence, following complaints about the initial proposal.
The system, which will come into full effect from 2016, had attracted criticism due to the weighting of some qualifying championships as the FIA attempted to restrict the ability of young, and therefore supposedly inexperienced, drivers to make it to the top flight. Max Verstappen – and, before him, the likes of Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button – were allegedly 'too young' to cope with the demands of F1, and the governing body is now seeking to put controls in place to avoid the temptation to take a driver before he or she is ready.
However, the FIA has also recognised that its initial suggestions may not have fairly reflected the strength of series below F1, and the WMSC has now issued a revised points system to take criticisms into account.
As a result, the principal senior or main feeder series will now all carry the same 40-point reward for their champion, although the nascent FIA F2 championship – which originally carried a 60-point opportunity – will give the same amount to each top three finisher overall, where as GP2, IndyCar, WEC LMP1 and FIA Euro F3 will all see the lesser placings receive points on a curve. Winning any of the above series, or indeed the new Formula E crown, will be enough to automatically bridge the 40-point total required for a superlicence.
For many, the total will more likely remain a three-year accumulation, with points accrued all the way up the ladder, Formula Renault 3.5 will now carry a 35-point reward for its champion, while a GP3 title brings 30 points and the Japanese Super Formula crown 25.
Requests for inclusion have seen the DTM and WTCC added to the list to increase the range of opportunities for young drivers, and will each carry 15 points for the champion, in common with Indy Lights. National F4 series will still carry 12 points for their champions, while national F3 provides ten, along with the various FRenault 2.0 series. Success in a senior international karting series will contribute five points to a driver's superlicence bid.
Meanwhile, those drivers with enough points to qualify for a superlicence, but without the opportunity to land an F1 race drive, will be allowed to keep their window open for three years in order to take up a testing role in the top flight without needing to race elsewhere.
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