Daniel Ricciardo, HRT, Silverstone, 2011

New superlicence rules would have barred ten drivers in last five years

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The FIA’s new rules for granting superliences to Formula One drivers would have prevented ten drivers from making their grand prix debuts in the last five seasons.

Among them are Daniel Ricciardo, who made his debut in 2011 and scored his first three race victories last year.

Paul di Resta would also have been barred from making his F1 debut with Force India during the same season.

The new rules awards drivers points towards their superlicence based on how well they perform in different junior categories. They must accumulate at least 40 points in the three-year period before they can receive a superlicence and compete in F1.

Under the new regulations, which come into force in 2016, the following drivers would not have been allowed to race in F1 in the year they made their debuts:

2014

Marcus Ericsson – Just 14 points with a best of sixth in GP2 in the previous three seasons.
Will Stevens – One-off Caterham driver has 15 points after three seasons in Formula Renault 3.5.

2013

Giedo van der Garde – Accumulates 24 points in his previous three years in GP2, peaking with fifth in 2011.
Max Chilton – Fourth in GP2 in 2012 for 20 points, but earns nothing from previous two seasons.

2012

Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Montreal, 2012Jean-Eric Vergne – In the previous three years he was British Formula Three champion, Formula Renault 2.0 runner-up and Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup runner-up, but that is only valued at 33 points.
Charles Pic – Highs of fourth in GP2 and third in Formula Renault 3.5 leave him on 37 points.
Paul di Resta – As DTM performances are not awarded points, Di Resta’s title win and runner-up placing are worth exactly nothing.

2011

Daniel Ricciardo – Whether he’d made his debut in 2011 with HRT, or waited until 2012 with Toro Rosso, Ricciardo would have fallen slightly short of the required 40 points, despite his strong Formula Renault 3.5 performances and British F3 crown.
Jerome D’Ambrosio – Just three points for his ninth place in GP2 in 2009.

2010

Karun Chandhok – Tenth in GP2 in 2008 gives him only two points.

The ones who only just made it

Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, Albert Park, 2014The most well-qualified driver to come into Formula One during that time, according to the FIA, was Nico Hulkenberg. His GP2 and European F3 title wins would have contributed to a haul of 110 points.

Others would have only made it in by the skin of their teeth. Kevin Magnussen’s Formula Renault 3.5 title, seventh place the year before and second place in British F3 would have given him exactly the 40 points he needed.

Daniil Kvyat would have counted points from five different championships to get on the grid last year. His GP3 crown is worth 30, but a handful of high-placed finishes in different Formula Renault 2.0 categories scrape him over the threshold.

However of the three drivers due to make their debuts this year Max Verstappen would be ineligible to compete having earned only 20 points from coming third in European Formula Three. Of course, he would also be excluded for failing to meet the new minimum age limit of 18.

Toro Rosso would need an entire new line-up as his team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr would also not have enough points, despite winning the Formula Renault 3.5 championship last year. A lack of success in the previous two years would hold him back.

Sauber’s Felipe Nasr is the only one of the three new drivers in the field this year to meet the criteria, having amassed 52 points in three years of GP2.

No comeback for Schumacher?

The new superlicence regulations also make life more difficult for drivers making comebacks following a spell out of the sport. In order to automatically qualify for a superlicence they must have started at least five F1 races in the previous year, or at least 15 races in the previous three years.

This would not have prevented Kimi Raikkonen’s return in 2012 as he competed in the 2009 championship. But other drivers who returned to F1 in the last five years would not have made the cut.

Among them is Michael Schumacher, who returned after a four-year break in 2010. The same year Sakon Yamamoto would not have been allowed to make his return as he had only started seven races as recently as 2007.

And Narain Karthikeyan’s 2011 return would also have been blocked as he had not raced an F1 car since 2005.

The constant changes to the many other formulae through which drivers pass to reach Formula One make it hard to quantify which of the most experienced drivers might have been unable to qualify to race under the present rules. But it’s striking how many of the most successful drivers did not have much of this kind of experience and success when they made their F1 debuts.

Jenson Button, for example, had placed third in British Formula Three (now worth five points) and won the British Formula Ford Championship when he got his Williams drive in 2000. And Raikkonen famously had very little experience when he arrived the following year having just won the British Formula Renault 2.0 title.

The potential for teams to take a punt on a promising young driver may therefore be diminished by these new regulations, and we could increasingly see them place these drivers in junior categories instead.

The rules therefore look like having far-reaching consequences. It is no longer sufficient for drivers merely to be present in lower formulae to get a chance to race in F1 – they need to be successful too. And pick the categories the FIA regards most highly.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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90 comments on “New superlicence rules would have barred ten drivers in last five years”

  1. And the only Red Bull junior who would qualify for next year would be Lynn… (Sainz on 39 points, Gasly on 25, Verstappen failing on many levels)

    1. sorry, this year :)

  2. Lotterer have 112 – his the best :)

    1. And Sebastian Loeb was denied a super licence in 2009.

  3. Thanks for doing my job for me Keith!

    1. No Robert Kubica either! The inaugural FR3.5 champion and karting maestro would have had a tally of just thirty points!

  4. Thanks Keith, nicely shows what this proposal means. Its a gig to get F2 up and going again (and not make Bernie too furious for now with GP2 still being premium existing category)

    1. @bascb It is also fatal for FR3.5 and Mercedes’ system of using their DTM squad as a pool of junior drivers.

      1. Yeah, RBR using the FR3.5 route and Mercedes putting drivers in DTM (well, and McLaren and Honda putting Magnussen on hold in Japan) all seem pretty much useless now.

        1. Magnussen should be fine as long as his sabbatical from F1 is less than 3 years.

          at least 15 races in the previous three years.

          1. exactly, he had raced all 19 races last year

  5. Might this be something to counter the “pay driver” phenomenon?

    1. This is exactly what I think it means. No longer can below average drivers like Max Chilton pay vast sums of money to be in F1. It won’t stop pay drivers, but what it will do is make all drivers on the grid have decent experience and a higher level of skill.

      1. I agree, I think the benefit is that some of these investors/sponsors will push there money behind some of these more talented youngsters that are winning championships and not getting a seat. It won’t rule out pay drivers, it just ensures they are the more talented/deserving drivers
        .

        1. the problem is no sane investor/sponsor will pay that amount of money the teams need unless it is their son. the money needed versus the return is way to small. so the teams will go bankrupt and the good drivers still don’t have a seat.

          1. An astute observation. F1 has become a rich man’s toy.
            On the other hand, with the current glut of rich man’s sons, which of them can actually rise to the challenge?
            Come on, even rich fathers want to know.

          2. To be fair, F1 started out as a rich-man’s toy.

    2. It could very well backfire and have the opposite effect to some degree.
      It costs a lot of money to get a competitive seat in one of the junior racing series were you can earn super license points.
      GP2 in particular has a problem where drivers win by experience and not by talent. The champions of the past 3 years were in their 4th (Leimer and Palmer) or 5th (Valsecchi) season. You can have all the talent you want, but you’ll need both a good team and a certain amount of experience (especially since the Pirelli tyres were introduced) to win titles in GP2. Four or five seasons in GP2 cost millions.
      It is difficult enough to secure enough funding to show your talent in any junior racing series. It will be even more difficult to secure funding to earn 40 points.

      1. It could very well backfire and have the opposite effect to some degree.

        Pshaw; since when has that ever happened with FIA rules? Next thing you’ll be telling me is that switching to turbo V6s didn’t save small F1 teams money!

  6. The only thing I like about the score system introduced by FIA is that guys like Chilton need now more than their full pockets to get into F1.

    1. @omarr-pepper But at the cost of drivers like Ricciardo, di Resta and Kubica?

      1. And at the cost of the small teams as well, what would teams like Sauber do without pay drivers?

        1. Simple: reduce spending in other areas.

      2. Yeah but it’s not like those drivers wouldn’t have made it eventually, maybe just one more year in another category and there’s nothing wrong with that.

        But @oel-f1 makes a very good point indeed, how many current drivers are both eligible and have substantial backing? If this is a serious problem I expect FIA changing these rules slightly before 2016.

        1. @mantresx yeah, it’s not like Ricciardo really needed to be at HRT in 2011. He would have been eligible for F1 in 2012, as long as he finished 2nd or higher in his FR3.5 season.

          Same thing with the case of Robert Kubica. He would presumably either do GP2 or this future F2 series and finish 1st or 2nd (or 3rd in the future F2).

          The promotion of certain series over others might seem questionable, but having a clearly defined ranking system there should be useful.

          For most of the other examples in this article, I really have no issue whatsoever with preventing those drivers from being in F1 with their experience at the time.

    2. Well, you also need to now have enough money to drive in the more expensive series that the FIA back – including GP2, which is just a cash cow for Bernie Ecclestone. @omarr-pepper @countrygent

  7. Copying my comment from the other article:

    Because nobody at that time would be aware of such a requirement. In his second or third year (Ricciardo) he may have tried to switch to a formula that gave more FIA superlicense points. You simply cannot apply a rule that didn’t exist in the past. Why not apply the engine usage rule to a season in the 1980s when they changed the engine most race weekends? We would maybe have a different set of champions! That would make a great article… you should write that. @keithcollantine

    1. In his second or third year (Ricciardo) he may have tried to switch to a formula that gave more FIA superlicense points. You simply cannot apply a rule that didn’t exist in the past.

      The point of the article is not to say that these drivers did not deserve to make their debuts because of the new rule. It’s to show that they wouldn’t have been able to. And, therefore, that they would have done exactly what you suggest for Ricciardo.

      1. @keithcollantine As an average reader the article says to me – Look at all these F1 drivers who would not have raced had the rules been like this five years ago. It’s like saying under the new points system, in the past, driver x would not have been world champion. Simply a waste of time thinking about it as they weren’t the rules then. The mindset changes, the route changes. If the rule was that only people with the name Clive were allowed to drive then we would have very few F1 drivers. But as the mindset changes they all change their name to Clive. Ridiculous example I know but I feel it has a similar point to it.

        1. I don’t agree with you Tony. I think that applying the rule as Keith has just helps people visualize the potency of said rule. If he just reported it I would have no idea what to think of it. I’d have to do a lot of research to decide what I felt about it. There is nothing wrong with speculation like this. Personally I think it is the one sane thing the FIA have done in many years.
          But everyone is free interpret things as they see fit. Is using different point scoring schemes a waste of time when trying to gauge how good a modern driver would fair in the past and vice versa? What method would you use?

        2. I don’t see it the same way. It was a clever way to show how the points system can affect drivers careers.

        3. This raises a very good question: How decisions are taken? Let’s analyse some methods:
          1) Consult a crystal ball to glance the future.
          2) Look the past, do some calculations, run some simulations, speculate about different possible scenarios, gather some opinions (including yours) and weights all these wisely.
          3) Ignore the past, present, future, opinions, common sense, math, physics, etc, and only listen to that little voice in your head.

          Particularly I think Bernie is very fan of the third method

      2. Tell you what here is better article to write. If these rules stay, in three years time look at all the drivers who just miss out on the 40 points. That is much more fascinating and relevant.

    2. @tonyyeb It still works for the drivers that only did GP2 though

  8. Giedo is a WSR3.5 champion, worth 30 points. But not in the previous three years of his debut. So it would be a useless crown then? Pretty harsh.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      6th January 2015, 14:24

      John, not sure about that. In the original article it says ‘over a three-year period’ NOT that this has to be the previous 3 years!

      I think Guido is ‘worth’ 41 pts (’07-’09)

      I do not have access to the FIA document though.
      @keithcollantine can you please clarify.

      1. @coldfly Haha, use the FIA’s inability to write regulations against them, even when they are trying to shaft any series in sight that doesn’t have ‘FIA’ in front of it, or simply can’t because they can’t shaft Ecclestone without being annihilated in return. @keithcollantine

  9. Kudos @keithcollantine. I doubt the FIA put in this much effort before making the decision.

    True @tonyyeb but it’s part of the story that drivers and backers will be influenced, artificially. We have to suspect that is part of the scheme – to give certain series more appeal than they would otherwise have. Seems highly manipulative to me.

    1. @lockup Perhaps the split of points needs tweaking (obvious bias to FIA favoured formulas) but if you can’t amass 40 pts in 3 years you don’t deserve to be in F1. Should mean better quality of drivers getting a chance ahead of run of the mill pay drivers (Ericsson isn’t even in my top 20 of drivers who proved they deserve a shot at F1).

      1. I think the principle is fine @tonyyeb, the trouble is in how it’s been done. The what-if exclusions demonstrate that it’s been done badly with a lot of top talent excluded, not just pay drivers. The weighting of the series demonstrates that there’s an agenda already, and that is only likely to get worse.

        FIA is a corrupt institution as we know, with a ‘democratic’ structure that encourages corruption and massively favours the incumbent. Add to that how Todt has taken a back seat and left Bernie’s man to largely run F1 and we can only be suspicious about any new power they give themselves. And indeed here we are with FIA F2 handed a huge tilt of the playing field while WSR with 530bhp and DRS is given a big fat demotion.

        1. @lockup The FIA is only one ‘F (up)’ away from being FIFA….

  10. This is gonna hit the pay drivers pool pretty hard… I’m expecting pay drivers paying a lot to race for five/six years in the “Future F2”. Pay drivers rookie year age will be late 20s early 30s :)

  11. Anyone can come up with the points Lewis Hamilton would have racked up before he got into F1 in 2007?

    1. I get 98.

      2004: F3 P5 = 8pts
      2005: F3 P1 = 40pts
      2006: GP2 P1 = 50pts

      1. FlyingLobster27
        6th January 2015, 15:48

        Bear in mind though that it was the Formula 3 Euro Series at the time (managed predominantly by the German Motorsport Board), and not the FIA European FormulFIA 3 ChampFIAonship, so that title probably wouldn’t be counted as 40 points.

  12. Such is the magnitude of household names that this excludes, all F1 teams, whether they have invested millions in a Junior Programme or need driver sponsorship to survive, will be forced to rebel over this catastrophic policy. Next year’s World Motorsport Council is going to be lively…

  13. Bernie must be so happy, remove the pay drivers that are keeping the small teams afloat and he has 100% power over a 5 team championship!

  14. I like the idea but maybe it needs some fine tuning.

    I can see a good future for those doing very well, which is what we always ask for. It’d put performance over budget, so that’s a good thing and I praise FIA for coming with an idea for a solution.

    But maybe instead of making the road to F1 like this (assuming people jump from different places right into F1), they could’ve made it in steps.

    Like, if you go from F3 directly to F1 it’s worth a certain amount of points, but if you go from F3 to GP2 and then to F1, you get more points, like a multiplier, because you raced in two competitive series in consecutive years and you finished well in both.

    That way you’d get a smoother, stepped path to F1, which would also depend on your performance but it’d not be so harsh.

    1. @fer-no65 Sounds a lot like the F1metrics system of ranking junior drivers… Funny how one person can come up with a better system than the World Motorsports governing body! (Well, less biased anyhow)

  15. Just like F1. Too much rules….

  16. ColdFly F1 (@)
    6th January 2015, 14:13

    There is a big correlation though between many of these names and the bottom of @keithcollantine‘s annual driver ranking!

  17. With this new system let´s evaluate the latin american drivers often labeled as pay drivers:
    Pastor Maldonado 62 pts (2008 gp2 5th, 2009 gp2 10th, 2010 gp2 1st)
    Esteban Gutierrez 60 pts (2010 gp3 1st, 2012 gp2 3rd)
    Sergio Perez 56 pts (2008 f3 4th, 2009 gp2-asia 7th, 2010 gp2 2nd)

    The three drivers are more than qualified to be in f1 according with the new system.

    1. Correction: Esteban Gutierrez was 9th in 2009 f3, so is tied with Maldonado with 62 points with the new system.

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      6th January 2015, 14:36

      @juanmelendezr1,
      You assume that Pastor Maldonado would pass the test on ‘Formula One sporting regulations’ ;-)

      PS – this is (supposed to be) a joke

    3. Checo Perez could be 96 points if the English F3 qualifies to F3 points award, as he won it in 2007.

      This indeed is a new gauge of experience vs results

  18. If the rules introduced in 2010 then my favourite driver will may never went to F1, pretty funny rules, remember that luck sometimes also play hands in junior formulae.

    1. Just one year later! I am sure!

      1. Yeah but other STR drivers will take the seat rather than him

  19. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    6th January 2015, 14:41

    Seems like 30 would be a more reasonable level.

  20. Good thing IMHO, this solves the pay driver problem

  21. Wait. What?
    Let`s say Anonymous Andy is a multiple touring car champion. For the past few years he has been racing in DTM for the Mercedes factory team. Together they have won back-to-back titles. Mercedes is quite pleased. And they are sure that AA would be perfect for their F1 programme. But for the last – let`s say 5 years he has been racing (with good result of course) in different touring cars series. So, Anonymous Andy has the speed and talent, but because he has not raced in junior formulas he doesn`t get into F1.
    Before he makes the switch to LMP1 and wins it.

    1. Well I guess Paul Di Resta proves he wasn’t ready. Either way DTM is a long way from F1…

  22. Your information on Vergne is hopelessly inaccurate. What you list would only have scored him 20 points, not the 33 you say, but in fact he scored 42 in his three seasons:
    2009 – FR 2.0 WEC and Eurocup, 2nd in each, 5 points each – 10 points total
    2010 – British F3 champion, 10 points, FR3.5 8th, 2 points – 12 points total
    2011 – FR3.5 2nd – 20 points
    Overall: 42 points. Try to research better..

    1. Are you sure about that one Sam? don’t forget that you also have to “complete at least 80% of the series to be eligible for points” in that championship and year.

  23. I fully understand the argument that x number of great drivers wouldn’t have made it under the new rules. But I think the point should be made that a number of sub-standard drivers have found their way onto the grid ahead of strong talents and I’m getting a little tired of hearing that that is to do with finances. I do not begrudge those drivers who have made it in with support but under this system whose who provide the backing will have to place their money behind genuine talent and that can only be touted as a good thing.

    I don’t for one second blame Verstappen or his father for accepting an F1 role but I think we have finally reached a tipping point where race craft is not as important as raw pace and marketability. Mark Webber said it best with, “Formula 1 should not be a finishing school”. In my opinion, you should either be the next best thing, in your peak years or have won in the past. But even the next Senna should have relevant racing experience over a number of years. Do I believe Ricciardo would not have made it into F1 had this rule been applied earlier? Certainly not. But it will mean we will see more drivers closer to their peaks especially given the restricted grids we are likely to see over the next few years, which sounds good to me.

  24. I may be doing my maths wrong, but I don’t think Vettel would have been eligible under the current system either. This is according to Wikipedia:

    2003 – 10-30pts (depending on how you count Formula BMW–I’m assuming lower than Formula Renault 3.5 & F3)
    2004 – no points, I see no competition entered.
    2005 – 8pts as fifth place in F3
    2006 – 20pts as runner-up in Formula Renault 3.5 (while as test driver for BMW Sauber)

    So he wouldn’t have been able to be a test driver (I’m assuming(?)) in 2006. Or perhaps he might have just squeaked through depending on how points were accrued in the (again, assuming) rolling 3yr calendar. But Vettel would not have been available in 2007 when Kubica crashed in Canada and Vettel raced at Indy USGP, because his prior three seasons would have only been 28pts. Which means no Toro Rosso, and no RBR, and no championships. Again, maybe Wikipedia and I are missing something for 2004, but if this is even close to accurate, that’s ridiculous.

    Also, any system that would have barred Michael Schumacher, or nearly Kimi, or other champions from returning is ridiculous on its face. Yes, this benefits F2 and other series. Yes, it may help avoid teams hiring publicity stunt drivers, but don’t put roadblocks in the way of phenomenal talent. This is yet another overreaction to something that isn’t a problem.

    1. To be clear, I do think Vettel could have made it on skill and points in subsequent seasons, but timing matters. And artificial and unnecessary impediments can change the flow of events, careers, and legacies.

    2. @hobo Another one for the “don’t trust Wikipedia” file!

      In 2004 Vettel raced in German Formula BMW. He obliterated the competition, won the title and 18 of the 20 races:

      Sebastian Vettel’s Route to F1

      What would he have scored for that? It wasn’t an FIA sanctioned-championship, so… two points?

      Regardless, this is why I didn’t bother extending the analysis back beyond 2010, you quickly end up having to do a lot of guesswork.

      1. @keithcollantine – Good points (#nopun) all. But I think implementing any system that could disrupt a 4-times champion, or even get close, or stop former drivers from retiring seems highly problematic.

        1. *returning*

  25. I don’t think it should have been so performance-oriented. It’s not for the governance to say who’s fast enough is it? That’s for teams, FIA should only be concerned with safety IMO. They should have made the criteria consist of age, a certain amount of experience and clean licences, part of which would be at long, long last enforcing the same rules in junior series as they do in F1 and putting points on licences much more liberally, like one for every avoidable contact.

    As it is it’s all a bit of a fix, it seems to me. Sudden death for a few tail-end teams and a power play over racing series. If the feeder series are weighted at all it should be by some objective metric like power or laptime, not the whim of those in power at any one time.

  26. I don’t know why there isn’t a promotion system and a clear gp3, gp2 line that leads to F1. So what if an experienced gp2 driver has the most points in his 5th season, he may well be ready for f1 by then. Graham Hill was 30 before he got going. Race craft can be god given but it can also be learned, as can speed. Too many teams want to 2nd guess the next Lewis, and most of the time it wont. A good rule IMHO but it should be alongside a promotion system.

  27. Bad news for pay drivers, but good news for us. Drivers with actual talent (hopefully) should be the ones in F1 seats.

    1. @jarnooo – Wrong.

      As @keithcollantine points out in the article, it would have kept a lot of talent out of F1 if implemented in earlier seasons. And as @juanmelendezr1 points out in an above comment, Maldonado, Guitierrez, and Perez would be eligible. Perez arguably deserves to be on the grid. But a grid full of drivers equal to those three would not make for high quality races. Explosive, but not high quality.

  28. My idea that will also save some money…
    Pirelli does hire drivers to test. Let the F1 pay for a driver without a seat….lets say Magnussen (it can be Kobayashi, Vergne, Kovalainen…etc).
    F1 will lend this driver to Pirelli for testing. (Michelin, Brigestone, Khumo or whatever tire company sponsors F1).
    Should a new driver want to get the superlicense, he should be within lets say…107% of this driver (apart from having spent some time in lower series).

    I feel it’s quite unfair because even in GP2 or GP3 a good car is a big help. This way…you just need to race GP3 or GP2…but when using the same machinery as an “average” F1 driver you should be within 7% (or 5% or 10%…I don’t know).

    Just an idea. And on top of that…we get more tire testing.

  29. It doesn’t really matter what the avenues to success are, the rich guys will always be able to buy a pass. If F1 can’t be bought, then I am sure that the lower racing series can be.
    I love Formula One, but the next Alonso is a skateboarder.

    1. or a snowmobiler…

  30. This might mean that we might have more interesting junior formulae. It’s like the medal system suggested by Bernie, drivers in junior categories might start punching harder in the race as a GP2 or GP3 or F3 championship win/runner up might seem even more attractive.

    1. Imo, it’s the exact opposite of Bernie’s medals, although very superficially similar. Being good in a few races doesn’t count too much anymore, what counts is being consistently strong when others overshoot it and drop out.

  31. Great stuff!
    The FIA has found a spectacular and inexpected (at least by me) way of ensuring the quality of F1 grids in the years to come. There is going to be a lot of controversy surrounding this rule, possibly also some amendments.
    I can only speak for myself when I say: This is a brilliant move. While there are a few counter-examples, the vast majority of these 10 names correspond to my subjective list of drivers who shouldn’t be or have been in F1, but found a seat because their budgets overshadowed other drivers’ talents. I’m specifically looking at Max Chilton and Marcus Ericsson.
    I am, however, aware of the fact that financially struggling teams at the back of the grid will be having a much harder time recruiting pay drivers. In my view, there ought to be a complementary move by FOM to ensure that prize money is more evenly distributed among all teams in order to enable those struggling teams to survive without pay drivers. But who am I fooling? Bernie’s F1 is bound to remain a blood-sucking monster that eats its own children and mocks them for being so weak, forcing them to take perverse measures to increase their minimal chances of survival.

    tl;dr:
    I love it.

  32. Allow me to be a real advocate of the devil here. Where are all these drivers now? Just one, Ricciardo, is still in F1. So perhaps it was to early for them. Besides that list isn’t really that spectacular isn’t it.

  33. The big mistake with this is they made up points for actual results whereas I’ve been wondering for quite some years now whether it should’ve been based around experience in years and races rather than performance. Because in the end; who are we to say a driver can’t be in F1 is he is a ok driver that will consistenly finish around P8 rather than a bloody fast guy who might finish in P1 once and break it down in every other race.

  34. I think there’s some ups and downs on the ruling. Bring the points down to 30 is what I feel. Upside will be more talented drivers will get their seats in F1 but let’s say they have no sponsors it will and can be a problem, then those with the monies might not be up to par at all. It’s a catch 22 situation but the existing drivers can breath a bit more as they will stand to keep their drive and there are few new drivers who will meet the 40 pts. As for the above 18 that should be an easier criteria to meet Then again what about those with borderline scores of 35 to 39 pts who can shine like Ricciardo who’s not supposed to be with this ruling. But in fairness all drivers should go through F3 to GP2 then F1, unless he/she is exceptional. But overall it gives the better drivers a good chance not because they have money, this is a highly rated sport not a stock market brokerage. Personally I prefer this new ruling, it makes more sense as it will sort out the exceptional and very good ones from the average.

  35. While some drivers I do like are bitten badly by these new rules, I strongly agree with them. The whole concept is preventing pay drivers to do what they do best: do average/bad but pull out multi-millions out of their pocket to race in a seat they didn’t earn and don’t deserve. With these new rules, doing a certain amount of mileage in testing in a f1 car is now completely pointless to earn your super license (the only reason Marcus Ericsson in particular was allowed to race). Lots of drivers are stun by these rules, but I find that it gives the most deserving talent the best chance possible. From my point of view, I’m so happy to see Mitch Evans on 40 points with his success in claiming the GP3 title at age 18 and accumulating 174 points to take 4th in his 2nd year in GP2 (meanwhile teammate Artem Markelov came 24th with just 6 points). He is a talent that should not be overlooked but I glorified Mitch’s performances cause he should have some sort of connection to an F1 team by now and it’s not like he doesn’t have the funds to do it. I also find Matthew Brabham a promising talent, Pietro Fittipaldi will carve another Fittipaldi in F1’s history books, Ben Barnicoat is a fast young kid that McLaren should’nt let go, Emil Bernstorff can easily do it (as long as he gets a good car) and Dean Stoneman can never be slowed down (he had a couple years off from racing as he suffered and recovered from Testicular Cancer). The commitment is another thing that these drivers show as well (just ask Dean Stoneman!)

  36. Baring Schumacher. Just. I have no words.

  37. It’s not just the last 5 years though. I bet Michael Schumacher wouldn’t have been allowed to join Jordan. How about Vettel joining Red Bull from BMW? Raikkonen at Sauber?

    My main problem with this rule is that it removes the ability to fast-track the prodigious talent. I assume it is ostensibly an attempt to remove pay drivers from F1, ironically at a time when the have-nots are most in need of them. Pay drivers who have existed as long as the sport has existed.

    But it also removes the freedom of the ‘haves’ to make a completely autonomous judgement call on who their own drivers should be.

    I see literally zero sporting value in this and that’s completely ignoring the fact that it is unnecessarily convoluted and complicated for the fan on the street.

    This rule hurts both the haves and the have-nots of F1.

    1. Verstappen loves you !

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