FIA outlines new Superlicense requirements

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Towards the end of 2014, the FIA established that it would be implementing a new protocol for how it determines who can get an F1 Superlicense.

It’s not officially known as the “Max Verstappen rule,” but with the 17-year-old Dutchman set for his debut in two months, he’ll likely be the last 17-year-old for some time.

On Tuesday, they’ve revealed the details in full.

Prior to today’s announcement, drivers would have needed to fulfill at least one of the following criteria:

  • Made at least 5 Grand Prix starts the previous year, or 15 over the past three years
  • Have previously held a Superlicense and been regular test driver for a team over the past year
  • Have been classified, in either of the last two years, in the first three in the final classification of: F2, International F3 Trophy, GP2, GP2 Asia or Japanese Formula Nippon; in the first four in IndyCar; or current champion of F3 Euro Series, principal national F3 championships (Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Japan), World Series by Renault
  • Be judged by the FIA to have consistently demonstrated outstanding ability in single-seaters but with no opportunity to qualify, at which point they’d need to drive at least 300 km in a current F1 car over two days

That has now changed. The new details include being 18 years old, completing a question & answer session regarding the International Sporting Code and F1 Sporting Regulations, completed at least 80 percent of two full seasons in a championship outlined in Supplement 1 of the regulations, drive at least 300 km, and at fulfilling least one of the two new criteria:

  • Made at least 5 Grand Prix starts the previous year, or 15 over the past three years
  • Have accumulated at least 40 points during the three years preceding his or her application

Championships that count towards the points structure include any of the Formula Renault 1.6 or 2.0 International Series, Formula 3 National Championships, Formula 3 European Championship, Formula 4, Indy Lights, IndyCar, GP2, GP3, Super Formula, World Series by Renault, FIA WEC (LMP1 only), and a future Formula 2 championship.

The table of points is outlined with finishes from first through 10th place, and is revealed as follows:

  • Future F2: 60-50-40-30-20-10-8-6-4-3
  • GP2: 50-40-30-20-10-8-6-4-3-2
  • F3 Europe, WEC LMP1, IndyCar: 40-30-20-10-8-6-4-3-2-1
  • GP3, World Series by Renault: 30-20-15-10-7-5-3-2-1 (points to ninth)
  • Super Formula: 20-15-10-7-5-3-2-1 (points to eighth)
  • Formula 4, National Formula 3: 10-7-5-2-1 (points to fifth)
  • Formula Renault: 5-3-1 (points to third)

The takeaway here is that GP2 and F2 rank much higher in the points system than GP3 and WSR, which have seen a number of graduates in recent years.

It also is meant to discourage the likelihood of F3 drivers making it to F1 straight from F3, without at least a year in either Super Formula or GP3/WSR first.

The full regulations, changes of which can be found starting on page 21, are linked here.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III