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Superlicence rules to favour F2 drivers

NEWS STORY
21/12/2017

In recent years, some of the smaller teams have found an additional source of revenue by employing eager young bucks as 'test drivers', essentially allowing a well-funded driver a couple of outings in their car - usually at promotional events - a nice set of overalls and a few pictures to show the grandkids.

One or two have even made it to Friday practice sessions on Grand Prix weekends, but not any more.

In a new move the FIA is to make it much harder for said wannabees to participate in Friday sessions as it tightens the rules on the issuing of the necessary superlicence.

Up until now, a driver merely had to complete 300kms in a "representative F1 car" and answer a few relevant questions in order to qualify for an FP1 superlicence.

Provided the FIA was satisfied with the driver's previous track record and said team guaranteed that the youngster was fully up to speed with the rules, the newcomers was free to participate on Friday mornings alongside the likes of the sport’s superstars; Hamilton, Verstappen and Vettel.

Form next season however, in order to qualify for their initial 'FP1 licence' drivers will have had to contest six F2 races or accumulated 25 superlicence points over the preceding three years in one of the eligible series. Drivers reapplying must either have completed a full season in F2 or gained 25 superlicence points during the previous three years.

Had these rules been in place in 2017, Toro Rosso's Sean Gelael would have qualified courtesy of his F2 (and GP2) experience, while Force India's Alfonso Celis would not have qualified.

In September, it was revealed that the superlicence qualification rules - which were tightened after Max Verstappen's signing to Toro Rosso in 2014 for the 2015 season - were to favour those drivers following the FIA's preferred career ladder of F2 to F1.

Previously, the winner and runner-up in the GP2 Series would gain the necessary 40 points for the superlicence, however, from 2018 this will be extended to the driver who finishes third in the championship also, while the winner of the IndyCar series would also gain the necessary 40 points.

However, whereas the winner and runner-up of the European F3 Championship, Formula E and WEC (LMP1) previously earned 40 and 30 points respectively, this has now been reduced to 30 and 25, though the WEC runner-up will gain just 24.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 21/12/2017 13:54

"Little point in getting your superlicence if there are no F1 seats to be had."

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2. Posted by Greg, 21/12/2017 11:06

"are they trying to make it the more elite sport. I would have thought that driving an lmp1 in traffic and with greater soeed differential in the classes it would earn morw points than the processional F1 needed.

And kn another note happy holiday season to all"

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