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.