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Practice sessions will count towards superlicence

NEWS STORY
15/06/2019

The FIA has announced that from 2020 participation in Friday practice sessions at Grands Prix will count towards a driver's superlicence.

The superlicence is mandatory for any driver wishing to race in Formula One, and in order to qualify for it the driver has to earn 40 points by participating and enjoying success in other series.

Even to take part in the Friday practice sessions at a Grand Prix a rookie needs a minimum of 25 points or has to have participated in at least six F2 events.

The superlicence scheme was introduced in 2015, in the wake of Max Verstappen becoming the youngest ever driver to take part in a Grand Prix weekend when, at the age of 17 years 3 days, he drove the Toro Rosso in FP1 at Suzuka in 2014 and was subsequently confirmed as a full-time driver for the Faenza team in 2015. Making his GP debut in Australia, at 17 years 166 days he became the youngest ever driver to start a Grand Prix.

As a result as well as introducing a rule that stated drivers had to be at least 18, the superlicence scheme was introduced, though had it been existence previously it would have seen the likes of Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso excluded either in terms of their age or lack of appropriate experience.

From next year, a free practice only super licence holder will be granted one additional point for each event they participate in, following the successful completion of at least 100 km during the session, and provided that no penalty points were imposed.

A maximum total of 10 such additional points may be awarded per driver for free practice sessions over a three year period.

Furthermore, the results from a maximum of two championships can now be accumulated from a single calendar year, provided that the start of the second championship falls after the end date of the first championship during the year in question.

Also, the new W Series and Euroformula Open series will be recognised and eligible for points from 2020, though it is not known how many points will be awarded for these championships.

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