Susie Wolff unfazed by new F1 super licence criteria

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Susie Wolff is unconcerned by the FIA’s new criteria for acquiring a super licence required to race in Formula 1 as she bids to become the first woman to make a full F1 start since Lella Lombardi in 1976.

Wolff made history at last year’s British Grand Prix as she became the first woman to take part in a race weekend session in 22 years with Williams during free practice at Silverstone.

For 2015, she has been promoted to the role of test driver, taking part in pre-season testing yesterday in Barcelona for the British team.

However, her hopes of making a full grand prix start in the future appeared to be dashed when the FIA announced in January that it was overhauling the process for obtaining a super licence that is required to race in F1.

Under the new system, drivers are awarded points depending on their finishing position in other championships. A score of 40 is required over three years in established series such as GP2, GP3 and IndyCar.

As a result, Wolff will be ineligible for a super licence given that her most recent competitive season came in 2012 when she finished 22nd in the DTM championship, a series that does not score points under this system.

Speaking exclusively to MotorSportsTalk, Wolff said that she was not worried about the new requirements and will simply deal with the situation as and when it arises.

“No, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it,” Wolff said. “If I need a super licence, then I will cross that bridge.

“I think what they’ve proposed excludes not just me but quite a few guys who are on the cusp of getting into F1, so I don’t think it can be as black and white as they have made it.

“Let’s see. It’s not been enforced yet so let’s see what actually happens.

“Certainly right now the huge stumbling block for me in Formula 1 is just getting time in the car. It’s so limited, not just for me but for all of the young drivers trying to get in. That’s what you’re fighting against, but for sure I want to be at one point in a race.”

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.