Who can race in F1 in 2016? Revised superlicence points totals

2015 F1 season

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The 2016 F1 season will be the first in which any new drivers entering the championship must satisfy new criteria set down by the FIA which is designed to assess their performance in junior championships.

In January the FIA revealed its new superlicence points system, under which young drivers must accumulate at least 40 points over a three-year period in order to be allowed to race in F1.

However following complaints that some championships were under-valued and others were omitted entirely, the FIA revealed an overhauled points system on Friday. While some series were added for the first time, such as the DTM and Indy Lights, others benefitted from higher points allocations, such as Formula Renault 3.5 and Japanese Super Formula.

The result is that more drivers are now eligible to score points and potentially gain a place on the grid for 2016. Existing F1 drivers can remain eligible as long as they have driven in five grands prix in the previous year, or 15 over the previous three years.

F1 Fanatic has crunched the numbers and found 276 drivers have scored at least one superlicence point over the previous three years. The table below shows how many each has based on the criteria specified by the FIA.

For 2016, drivers’ points will be calculated based on the 2013-2015 period, so the table also shows how many points each driver will drop from 2012 and how many they need to gain this year in order to be eligible for a superlicence.

The FIA has also indicated that drivers who reach 40 superlicence points “will now keep this possibility for three years (e.g. typical F1 test driver situation)”. If this is applied retroactively, drivers who reached 40 points in 2014 and 2013 could also have the chance to race in F1 in 2016.

Superlicence points 2012-2014

DriverScoresTotalPoints needed in 2015To drop from 2012Scores counted from
Andre Lotterer6145None50WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2013, WEC LMP1 2012, Super Formula 2014, Super Formula 2013, Super Formula 2012
Marcel Fassler3100None40WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2013, WEC LMP1 2012
Benoit Treluyer3100None40WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2013, WEC LMP1 2012
Tom Kristensen380None30WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2013, WEC LMP1 2012
Loic Duval680None11WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2013, WEC LMP1 2012, Super Formula 2014, Super Formula 2013, Super Formula 2012
Will Power380None30IndyCar 2014, IndyCar 2013, IndyCar 2012
Scott Dixon380None20IndyCar 2014, IndyCar 2013, IndyCar 2012
Stoffel Vandoorne375None10GP2 2014, Formula Renault 3.5 2013, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2012
Raffaele Marciello374None30GP2 2014, Euro F3 2013, Euro F3 2012
Allan McNish270None30WEC LMP1 2013, WEC LMP1 2012
Helio Castroneves370None10IndyCar 2014, IndyCar 2013, IndyCar 2012
Kazuki Nakajima463225WEC LMP1 2014, Super Formula 2014, Super Formula 2013, Super Formula 2012
Sam Bird260None20GP2 2013, Formula Renault 3.5 2012
Anthony Davidson260None0WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2013
Sebastien Buemi260None0WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2013
Felix Rosenqvist353720Euro F3 2014, Euro F3 2013, Euro F3 2012
Alex Lynn353None3Euro F3 2013, GP3 2014, British F3 2012
Felipe Nasr*352None2GP2 2014, GP2 2013, GP2 2012
Mitchell Evans2502030GP2 2014, GP3 2012
Ryan Hunter-Reay3503040IndyCar 2014, IndyCar 2013, IndyCar 2012
Antonio Felix da Costa3502030GP3 2012, Formula Renault 3.5 2013, Formula Renault 3.5 2012
Daniil Kvyat*3471017GP3 2013, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2012, Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS 2012
Jolyon Palmer246None0GP2 2014, GP2 2013
Fabio Leimer246None6GP2 2013, GP2 2012
Luiz Razia2453540GP2 2012, Indy Lights 2014
Esteban Ocon245None0Euro F3 2014, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2013
Carlos Sainz Jnr*24358Euro F3 2012, Formula Renault 3.5 2014
James Calado2401010GP2 2013, GP2 2012
Davide Valsecchi1404040GP2 2012
Daniel Juncadella1404040Euro F3 2012
Kevin Magnussen*24055Formula Renault 3.5 2013, Formula Renault 3.5 2012
Tom Blomqvist43965Euro F3 2014, Euro F3 2013, Euro F3 2012, German F3 2012
Alexander Wurz3382220WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2013, WEC LMP1 2012
Yvan Muller33730WTCC 2014, WTCC 2013, WTCC 2012
Nicolas Lapierre3362420WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2013, WEC LMP1 2012
Simon Pagenaud336128IndyCar 2014, IndyCar 2013, IndyCar 2012
Pierre Gasly23550Formula Renault 3.5 2014, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2013
Robin Frijns1354035Formula Renault 3.5 2012
Joao Paulo de Oliveira334137Super Formula 2014, Super Formula 2013, Super Formula 2012
Mike Rockenfeller33280DTM 2014, DTM 2013, DTM 2012
Esteban Gutierrez*1304030GP2 2012
Neel Jani2302010WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2012
Oliver Rowland430155Formula Renault 3.5 2014, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2013, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2012, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2013
Jack Harvey3292110GP3 2013, British F3 2012, Indy Lights 2014
Stephane Sarrazin228120WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2013
Max Verstappen*327130Euro F3 2014, CIK-FIA KZ 2013, CIK-FIA KF 2013
Lucas Auer327207Euro F3 2014, Euro F3 2013, German F3 2012
Jordan King427207Euro F3 2014, Euro F3 2013, British F3 2013, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2012
Gabby Chaves227130Indy Lights 2014, Indy Lights 2013
Romain Dumas226206WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2012
Naoki Yamamoto226140Super Formula 2013, Super Formula 2014
Marvin Kirchhofer225150GP3 2014, German F3 2013
Jules Bianchi*1254025Formula Renault 3.5 2012
Bruno Spengler225150DTM 2013, DTM 2012
Will Stevens*222180Formula Renault 3.5 2014, Formula Renault 3.5 2013
Nyck De Vries422180Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2014, Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS 2014, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2013, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2012
Gabriele Tarquini322180WTCC 2014, WTCC 2013, WTCC 2012
Rob Huff222180WTCC 2013, WTCC 2012
Max Chilton*1204020GP2 2012
Marc Lieb120200WEC LMP1 2014
Dean Stoneman120200GP3 2014
Jimmy Eriksson2203010GP3 2014, German F3 2012
Nick Yelloly3203010GP3 2014, GP3 2013, Formula Renault 3.5 2012
Facu Regalia120200GP3 2013
Conor Daly220255GP3 2013, GP3 2012
Daniel Abt1204020GP3 2012
Roberto Merhi*120200Formula Renault 3.5 2014
Koudai Tsukakoshi1204020Super Formula 2012
Stefano Coletti218220GP2 2014, GP2 2013
Antonio Fuoco218220Euro F3 2014, Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS 2013
Carlos Munoz318220IndyCar 2014, Indy Lights 2013, Indy Lights 2012
Takuya Izawa2183715Super Formula 2013, Super Formula 2012
Nicolas Prost3173310WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2013, WEC LMP1 2012
Yuichi Nakayama217307Japanese F3 2013, Japanese F3 2012
Mattias Ekstrom317230DTM 2014, DTM 2013, DTM 2012
Marco Wittmann216240DTM 2014, DTM 2013
Jake Dennis3153510Euro F3 2014, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2012, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2013
Norman Nato315327Formula Renault 3.5 2014, Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS 2012, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2012
Gary Paffett215250DTM 2013, DTM 2012
Jose Maria Lopez115250WTCC 2014
Sage Karam115250Indy Lights 2013
Tristan Vautier115250Indy Lights 2012
Christian Vietoris214260DTM 2014, DTM 2013
Augusto Farfus214260DTM 2013, DTM 2012
Johnny Cecotto Jnr213303GP2 2014, GP2 2012
Antonio Giovinazzi213270Euro F3 2014, British F3 2013
Emil Bernstorff313281Euro F3 2012, GP3 2014, German F3 2013
Norbert Michelisz313270WTCC 2014, WTCC 2013, WTCC 2012
Arthur Pic312313GP2 2014, Formula Renault 3.5 2013, Formula Renault 3.5 2012
Marcus Ericsson*212324GP2 2013, GP2 2012
Lucas di Grassi212280WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2013
Tio Ellinas212302GP3 2013, GP3 2012
Sergey Sirotkin212280Formula Renault 3.5 2014, Formula Renault 3.5 2013
Nico Muller212302Formula Renault 3.5 2013, Formula Renault 3.5 2012
Marco Sorensen212357Formula Renault 3.5 2013, Formula Renault 3.5 2012
Ryo Hirakawa2123810Super Formula 2014, Japanese F3 2012
Lance Stroll112280Italian F4 2014
Bruno Baptista112280Formula 4 Sudamericana 2014
Dennis Olsen212280Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2014, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2013
Alain Menu112280WTCC 2012
Zach Veach212280Indy Lights 2014, Indy Lights 2013
Esteban Guerrieri112280Indy Lights 2012
Pascal Wehrlein2113910Euro F3 2012, DTM 2014
William Buller211356Euro F3 2012, British F3 2013
Aaro Vainio2113910GP3 2013, GP3 2012
Nobuharu Matsushita211290Japanese F3 2014, Japanese F3 2013
Juan Pablo Montoya110300IndyCar 2014
Marco Andretti210300IndyCar 2014, IndyCar 2013
Mattia Drudi110300Italian F4 2014
Felipe Ortiz110300Formula 4 Sudamericana 2014
Markus Pommer110300German F3 2014
Takamoto Katsuta210300Japanese F3 2014, Japanese F3 2013
Simon Hodge110300Australian F3 2014
Ben Gersekowski210300Australian F3 2014, Australian F3 2013
Tim Macrow110300Australian F3 2013
James Winslow1104010Australian F3 2012
Pedro Piquet110300Brazilian F3 2014
Martin Cao110300British F3 2014
Benjamin Barnicoat110300Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2014
Matt Parry110300Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2013
Charles Leclerc210300Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS 2014, CIK-FIA KZ 2013
Edoardo Mortara210300DTM 2014, DTM 2012
Jamie Green110300DTM 2012
Sebastien Loeb110300WTCC 2014
James Nash110300WTCC 2013
Gustavo Yacaman110300Indy Lights 2012
Harry Tincknell29321Euro F3 2013, British F3 2012
Mathias Beche29310WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2013
Giedo van der Garde*18408GP2 2012
Rinaldo Capello18408WEC LMP1 2012
Jazeman Jaafar28397British F3 2012, Formula Renault 3.5 2014
Flavio Camponeschi28320CIK-FIA KZ 2014, CIK-FIA KF 2012
Tom Joyner28320CIK-FIA KF 2013, CIK-FIA KF 2012
Stephane Richelmi27330GP2 2014, GP2 2013
Matias Laine17407GP3 2012
Nigel Melker17330Formula Renault 3.5 2013
Hiroaki Ishiura17330Super Formula 2014
Tsugio Matsuda27352Super Formula 2013, Super Formula 2012
Andrea Russo17330Italian F4 2014
Agustin Lima17330Formula 4 Sudamericana 2014
Nabil Jeffri17330German F3 2014
Artem Markelov17330German F3 2013
Kenta Yamashita17330Japanese F3 2014
John Magro17330Australian F3 2013
Chris Gilmour17407Australian F3 2012
Bruno Etman17330Brazilian F3 2014
Matt Rao17330British F3 2014
Louis Deletraz17330Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2014
Jack Aitken17330Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2013
Luca Ghiotto17330Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS 2013
Tom Coronel27330WTCC 2014, WTCC 2012
Matthew Brabham17330Indy Lights 2014
Jack Hawksworth17330Indy Lights 2013
Sebastian Saavedra17330Indy Lights 2012
Tony Kanaan26362IndyCar 2014, IndyCar 2012
Justin Wilson16340IndyCar 2013
James Hinchcliffe26373IndyCar 2013, IndyCar 2012
Ryan Briscoe16406IndyCar 2012
Bruno Bonifacio26340Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS 2013, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2014
Tiago Monteiro26340WTCC 2014, WTCC 2013
Tom Chilton26340WTCC 2014, WTCC 2013
Sven Muller25383Euro F3 2013, Euro F3 2012
Dario Franchitti25394IndyCar 2013, IndyCar 2012
James Rossiter15350Super Formula 2014
Leonardo Pulcini15350Italian F4 2014
Francisco Camarotta15350Formula 4 Sudamericana 2014
Indy Dontje15350German F3 2014
Kimiya Sato15405German F3 2012
Mitsunori Takaboshi15350Japanese F3 2014
Katsumasa Chiyo15350Japanese F3 2013
Hideki Yamauchi15405Japanese F3 2012
Chris Anthony15350Australian F3 2014
Nick Foster15350Australian F3 2013
Steel Guiliana15405Australian F3 2012
Lukas Moraes15350Brazilian F3 2014
Camren Kaminsky15350British F3 2014
Felix Serralles15405British F3 2012
Alexander Albon15350Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2014
Seb Morris15350Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2014
Josh Hill15405Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2012
Matevos Isaakyan15350Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS 2014
Paul-Loup Chatin15405Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS 2012
Steijn Schothorst35350Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2014, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2013, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2012
Robert Wickens15350DTM 2013
Peter Dempsey15350Indy Lights 2013
Marco Ardrigo15350CIK-FIA KZ 2014
Lando Norris15350CIK-FIA KF 2014
Nick Heidfeld24360WEC LMP1 2014, WEC LMP1 2013
Jonny Kane14404WEC LMP1 2012
Nick Leventis14404WEC LMP1 2012
Danny Watts14404WEC LMP1 2012
Kevin Korjus24371GP3 2013, Formula Renault 3.5 2012
Tomoki Nojiri24371Japanese F3 2013, Japanese F3 2012
Martin Tomczyk24360DTM 2014, DTM 2012
Juan Pablo Garcia24360Indy Lights 2014, Indy Lights 2013
Ben Hanley24360CIK-FIA KZ 2013, CIK-FIA KF 2013
Alexander Rossi13370GP2 2013
Luis Derani13370Euro F3 2013
Alexander Sims23370Euro F3 2013, GP3 2013
Harold Primat13403WEC LMP1 2012
Andrea Belicchi13403WEC LMP1 2012
Dino Zamparelli13370GP3 2014
Patric Niederhauser13403GP3 2012
Matthieu Vaxiviere13370Formula Renault 3.5 2014
Yuji Kunimoto13370Super Formula 2014
Takashi Kogure13370Super Formula 2013
Kazuya Oshima13403Super Formula 2012
Alain Valente13370Italian F4 2014
Nicolas Muraglia13370Formula 4 Sudamericana 2014
Sam MacLeod13370German F3 2014
Gustavo Menezes13370German F3 2013
Mitchell Gilbert13403German F3 2012
Richard Bradley13403Japanese F3 2012
Ricky Capo13370Australian F3 2014
Jordan Skinner13403Australian F3 2012
Arthur Fortunato13370Brazilian F3 2014
Felipe Guimaraes13370British F3 2013
Andrea Pizzitola13370Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2014
Jeroen Slaghekke13370Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2012
George Russell13370Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS 2014
Kevin Jorg13370Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS 2013
Oscar Tunjo13370Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS 2012
Jorge Goncalvez13370Indy Lights 2013
Victor Carbone13370Indy Lights 2012
Nikita Mazepin13370CIK-FIA KF 2014
Julian Leal12380GP2 2014
Tom Dillmann12380GP2 2013
Nicholas Latifi22380Euro F3 2014, British F3 2013
Michael Lewis12402Euro F3 2012
Brendon Hartley12380WEC LMP1 2014
Mark Webber*12380WEC LMP1 2014
Timo Bernhard12380WEC LMP1 2014
Marc Gene12380WEC LMP1 2013
Oliver Jarvis12380WEC LMP1 2013
Charlie Kimball12380IndyCar 2013
Richie Stanaway12380GP3 2014
Marlon Stockinger12380Formula Renault 3.5 2014
Daiki Sasaki22380Japanese F3 2014, CIK-FIA KF 2012
Kohei Hirate22391Super Formula 2013, Super Formula 2012
Andrea Fontana12380Italian F4 2014
Diego Muraglia12380Formula 4 Sudamericana 2014
Maxime Martin12380DTM 2014
Michel Nykjaer12380WTCC 2013
Stefano D’Aste12380WTCC 2012
Juan Piedrahita12380Indy Lights 2014
Oliver Webb12380Indy Lights 2012
Rick Dreezen12380CIK-FIA KZ 2014
Jordon Lennox-Lamb12380CIK-FIA KZ 2013
Jehan Daruvala12380CIK-FIA KF 2014
Felice Tiene12380CIK-FIA KF 2012
David Brabham11401WEC LMP1 2012
Peter Dumbreck11401WEC LMP1 2012
Karun Chandhok11401WEC LMP1 2012
Sebastien Bourdais11390IndyCar 2014
Graham Rahal11401IndyCar 2012
Jann Mardenborough11390GP3 2014
Kevin Ceccon11401GP3 2012
Weiron Tan11390German F3 2014
John Bryant-Meisner11390German F3 2013
Jordan Oon11390Australian F3 2013
Hayden Cooper11401Australian F3 2012
Raphael Raucci11390Brazilian F3 2014
Zhi Cong Li11390British F3 2014
Andre Negrao11390Formula Renault 3.5 2013
Joao Vieira11390Italian F4 2014
Juan Manuel Casella11390Formula 4 Sudamericana 2014
Gustav Malja11390Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2014
Simon Gachet11390Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS 2014
Egor Orudzhev11390Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS 2013
William Vermont11390Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS 2012
Pepe Oriola11390WTCC 2012
Scott Anderson11390Indy Lights 2014
David Ostella11390Indy Lights 2012
Mirko Torsellini11390CIK-FIA KZ 2014
Callum Ilott11390CIK-FIA KF 2014
Karol Basz11390CIK-FIA KF 2013

*Will be eligible at the end of 2015 due to prior F1 experience
NB. Nelson Piquet Jnr is also eligible for a superlicence as the winner of the Formula E championship

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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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31 comments on “Who can race in F1 in 2016? Revised superlicence points totals”

  1. Interesting to see the overview. So its possible more drivers will be added for the next year based on this years results then?

  2. Another list showing which current drivers wouldn’t be eligible for a super license at their debut if this system had been in effect would be interesting to see.

    1. That hasn’t changed a great deal from when we looked at it before:


      The most significant change, Sainz, is mentioned in this companion piece which has just gone up:


      Of course once you try to extend this kind of analysis back more than a few years you hit the problem of there being many championships which don’t exist any more.

  3. Overall I still think this is a good idea. It would eliminate the lowest levels of pay drivers (not that it’d stop the complaining about supposed pay drivers but you could write a book on that) and ensure that everyone entering F1 is already at a high standard, as it should be for motorsport’s peak.

  4. I have to say, there are no names in this list who currently are elligible or probably will be considering recent form and projected result, who would be a disgrace in F1. I still don’t like the system (there are non elligible people who could be F1 ready) but at least if you look at the list, it most probably won’t yield any bad drivers in F1 at least for next year

  5. If Maldonado can have one, they might as well just hand them out with boxes of Kelloggs.

    1. teehee/10

  6. I’d like to see a guaranteed F1 seat (or several..) available to the winner of a feeder series, be that GP2 or the new one. If we can’t change the financial reasons for ‘pay drivers’ getting races then at least it would bypass these and bring in fresh, qualified blood each year.

    1. @gridlock Interesting: I like the sentiment but I strongly disagree with the principle. And the latter is why I don’t like the superlicence points system.

      Who the teams put in their cars is a sporting decision and it should be theirs and theirs alone. I accept that, for safety reasons, the FIA may need to play a role in determining that the driver they choose is competent enough to race in F1. But it’s not the FIA’s job to decide who is competitive enough to race in F1.

      If teams are choosing drivers because of their funding instead of their abilities, the FIA should address the root causes of that problem. But, as we’ve seen time and time again, they prefer to try to force teams to do otherwise with vast and complex new rules, of which this is a particularly clear example. I doubt it will bring much benefit for F1 or motor racing in general, besides making FIA-administered series more attractive to junior drivers, which appears to be the real purpose of this exercise.

    2. @gridlock I agree with @keithcollantine: an aspiration to aid young drivers is always beneficial but in this case the logistics would be challenging, and it may for instance overlook an absence of true competition in a series in a particular year (i.e. Valsecchi’s GP2 championship in 2012 came with a thoroughly underwhelming grid of competitors).

      I do however think the links between the junior categories and F1 should be stronger; I particularly like the way FIA F3 and FR3.5 give the champion/championship-leader an F1 test. Perhaps this will be the case to a greater extent when the FIA launches its F2 series.

      Guaranteeing a super-license for championship winners may be an alternative to guaranteeing an F1 seat, but that would effectively through a match on the entire points system anyway (not that that’s a bad thing). The only conclusion that is possible to reach is that F1 team want to go as fast as possible, and will therefore make it their business to ensure the very best driving talent is in their car, Q.E.D. no need for FIA intervention.

    3. Perhaps what we need is a way for teams to be able to step up more easily as well as drivers. To use a football analogy, players can be promoted from Championship teams to the Premiership through a transfer, or they can move into the Premiership with their team.

      I’m not saying they *have* to do it, but maybe there should be some form of structure in place to help those teams that are ready to make the step up?

  7. I’ld liked to see the drivers age on here as well. While there are many drivers that have achieved the 40 point thresh hold, alot of them are veteran drivers in their series and are unlikely to even race next year. Is it possible to have a list of say, 25 and under drivers, showing us who can potentially be an F1 driver?

    1. Would like to see that too…
      Looks like the eligible driver under 23 by Australia 2016 are just two driver: Felix Rosenqvist &
      Alex Lynn.
      Maybe F1 community should embrace veteran rookie like Tom Kristensen (age 48) ?

    2. No surprise that it’s Vandoorne, Marciello, Lynn, Evans, Ocon (all recent junior champions). McLaren junior, Ferrari junior, Williams tester, Webber’s protege, Mercedes development driver. Vandoorne is Button’s protege and might replace him next year at McLaren, after winning GP2.

  8. So for Pascal Wehrlein, Dean Stoneman and possibly even Marvin Kirchhöfer, the F1 dream does appear to be over (unless the former is parachuted into the Manor to do the requisite five grands prix to qualify for a super-license before the iron curtain comes down in 2016). That is abhorrent. The fact that system does not appear to deny a driver with a realistic chance of seat in 2016 is beside the point: when have teams in the modern era ever overestimated the abilities of a young driver? It amuses me that Verstappen, the unquestionable catalyst for this system, continues to prove that it is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

    Very soon an ineligible driver will be deemed as being worthy of a seat – either because they bring a budget that could rejuvenate a crippled team, or because their career has not followed the incredible biases of the points system – what will happen then? Team liquidation and/or court cases appear the likely outcomes. As for Maldonado and Ericsson, I would imagine they feel pretty safe in their seats.

    In every other major series in the world, common sense and competitive motivations regulate driver allocations. Why has that safety net suddenly become insufficient for F1?

    It hasn’t, the FIA has simply decided it would like to control international single seater racing by driving series like GP3 and FR3.5 in the ground.

    1. I wouldn’t rule Stoneman out. He had a very strong GP3 last year and a good FR3.5 this year and next could see him secure the 40 points needed.

      1. @craig-o Indeed: If he finishes where he is already he’ll be on 30, he’s only a few points off third which would leave him on 35, and after that he’d only have to come back again in 2016 after finish in the top six to hit 40.

      2. @craig-o @keithcollantine He is just about to turn 25; I think it is highly unlikely that he will be in a seat in 2016 that will enable him to reach the 40 point mark.

        1. @countrygent Dillmann’s 26 and he’s in FR3.5 this year. Given the particular setbacks Stoneman suffered earlier in his career if anyone’s going to be cut some slack on this point it should be him.

    2. @countrygent, would you say that, for example, McLaren made a mistake in hiring Perez when, in retrospect, even Perez admits that he probably lacked the experience to compete at McLaren that year? I’d argue that teams do often make mistakes on driver selection more routinely than you think.

      As for Maldonado, well, his career stats means that he would comfortably surpass the required minimum points threshold anyway – for all the abuse he gets, he is a GP2 champion and finished in the top 3 in Formula Renault 3.5, which is not exactly a bad finishing record.

      1. What’s the mistake? McLaren got $5m in the deal and wouldn’t have gained anything in the WCC if there was a better driver in the car, as the car sucked. Perez thought he was moving for something like the 2012 car..

      2. I actually agree, I think it was a mistake. I think McLaren read too much into his podium finishes and made the mistake of not noticing Hulkenberg’s more consistent but often equally impressive efforts in a comparably weaker car. Yes, they got a handy $5m from Telmex, but they didn’t need cash (they’d just made $30m when Mercedes bought back their stake in McLaren), with Button’s shelf-life pushing on, McLaren needed a new team leader. Sorry, @fastiesty.

        Ferrari made the same mistake a year later when they opted for Kimi rather than the Hulk. We are actually seeing F1 teams struggling to perceive the abilities of drivers that are already in F1 more than those racing in the junior categories.

        I think Maldonado’s promotion was instigated by his budget but justified by his GP2 championship. I think his junior results require a substantial addition of salt. For instance, his 2010 GP2 title was his fourth season racing in GP2. In 2006 he would have won the FR3.5 title had he not lost a fifth place at Misano following a disqualification for a technical irregularity. But, it was one of the weakest grids of competitors in FR3.5 history. Not remotely shabby, but not especially remarkable either.

        1. @countrygent, although I do think that Hulkenberg is a very good driver, I would actually argue that there was a certain amount of logic for teams to look beyond Hulkenberg in 2012 and 2013.

          In both of those years, Hulkenberg actually made relatively poor starts to the year which then hampered his efforts to then secure a better drive. Rather than being consistent, I would argue that Hulkenberg’s performance actually tended to peak towards the end of the season, usually after most of the major teams had already decided on their line ups for the following year.

          If we take 2012 as an example, We know from McLaren and Perez that the agreement to sign Perez was made shortly after the Singapore GP, although negotiations between the two sides had been going on for some time.

          At the time the deal between McLaren and Perez was signed, Hulkenberg was sitting in 14th place in the WDC with 33 points, whilst di Resta was in 11th and had clocked up 44 points in the same period.
          Furthermore, di Resta had actually finished in the points slightly more frequently than Hulkenerg (eight times to six for Hulkenerg) and had a higher average finishing position than Hulkenberg too – when it came to comparing the two at that time, Hulkenberg wasn’t comparing particularly favourably against di Resta.

          It was only in the final quarter of the season that Hulkenberg had a persistent run of points finishes, with nearly half of his points (30) coming in five races towards the end of the year. The problem is, by the time that Hulkenberg put in his best results that year, all of the major teams had already finalised their line up for the following year, effectively limiting him to the sideways move to Sauber.

          In 2013, Hulkenberg was afflicted by the fact that the Sauber C32 was, to begin with, a difficult car to set up, and Hulkenberg was caught at times losing his temper with the mechanics – there was an incident after the Australian GP where he was heard attacking the car and the team after the race, and occasionally appearing to be a little difficult to work with (whether he was or not was somewhat irrelevant, because the perception alone caused problems).

          That, to a certain extent, seems to have made Ferrari a little wary when dealing with him, even though they were known to be interested in him. Again, there was also the problem that, although Hulkenberg may have had a strong finish to the 2012 season, by the Hungarian GP – where Ferrari broke off talks with him – Hulkenberg’s profile had begun to drop again given he’d only scored five points by that point and appeared to be struggling a little.

    3. @countrygent I can see Stoneman and Kirchhofer getting 40 points this year and a 3 year grace period at least, but Wehrlein will be the test of the FIA’s ‘exemption’ system. He would have finished top 2 in F3 with Marciello, but Mercedes pulled him out early to start DTM instead. Maybe the money they saved (half a million quid?) the FIA will now want to finally collect to ‘help them decide’??

      Wehrlein is a talent, I wonder if Mercedes are planning for him and Ocon to eventually replace Hamilton and Rosberg, in which case, there’s no rush to get them into F1 and gaining experience.

  9. So under this new system 7 current F1 drivers woudl be ineligible for a super license.

    I also notice that Mark Webber who raced in F1 for 12 years & scored 13 poles & won 9 races is also currently not eligible which just shows how utterly absurd this system is.

    This system is simply not needed, Its a stupid system that in the long term is going to hurt far more than it helps. There are a couple exceptionally talented drivers in the list who currently won’t qualify for a license, Dean Stoneman for example, He’s one of the best drivers in any of the lower categories right now & is down on points because he missed a year or 2 of racing due to suffering from cancer but has been stunning in GP2 since coming back to racing… He deserve’s a shot at F1 more than a dozen of the drivers who are eligible for a super license (Jolyon Palmer who he beat to the F2 title just prior to his diagnosis).

    When you have real talent’s in the junior categories as well as very good current & race winning former F1 drivers not qualifying for a super license under this system then its clearly a bad system!

    1. Mark Webber would be eligible, as he has competed in at least 15 Grand Prix within the last three years.

  10. I had a long post because I’m procrastinating on a big paper, but I’m cutting it down to size. The TL;DR (too long, DON’T read :P) version will come first.

    As a solution to what is clearly an absolute outrage (Jolyon Palmer and Davide Valsecchi not having drives in F1), I therefore suggest a rule that no driver can stay in F1 for more than 12 seasons. Immediately Massa, Button, Alonso and Raikkonen are gone immediately and there’s room for four new drivers. The next driver to have to leave would be Rosberg after the 2017 season, but at least you’ve now go some room to try new drivers. The next two to leave would be Hamilton and Vettel (if you count partial seasons), and after that it’s pretty much anyone’s game as no one else has been in F1 even close to long enough to hit that ceiling.

    Coupled with that, no driver can bring more than…hmmm…$7.5 million in personal sponsorship money? $5 seems lower than what even reasonable drivers have brought in the recent past, but feel free to adjust it based on your own conceptualization.

    Longer Version:

    I’d say that everyone should go take a look at the list of GP2 drivers who have made it to F1. From the 2011 GP2 season onward, only six drivers–Bianchi, Chilton, Gutierrez, Ericsson, Nasr, and Pic–graduated to F1 in four years of that series (leaving Grosjean aside). The previous six seasons saw 20 drivers graduate to F1, or 3:1 ratio, which is slightly more than double the rate seen since 2011. Of those six, only three–Bianchi, Gutierrez, and Nasr–were in the top 3 for the season (and interestingly enough, all three were placed 3rd). Nasr is doing very well and was DoW for Australia, but it’s clearly not your ultimate results which count. Considering careers can last quite a while, one could argue that GP2 at least is doing its job: seven GP2 alums are still racing as of 2015, and it would have been eight had Bianchi not had his crash in Japan. That’s nearly a third of all GP2 graduates still racing ten years later.

    I honestly think making a big deal out of the situation in F1 is ridiculous: how many stand-out rookies have people been talking about in NASCAR or Indycar lately? (I honestly don’t know). People like Jeff Gordon have been racing there for twenty years, and hell drivers used to compete for points in the Nationwide series as well! Talk about a crowded field! Indy doesn’t seem any different to that, with some of those guys having been there for as long as I can remember.

    Why this appears to be a serious problem with F1 is that there are only 20 cars on the grid, a field of which a third has been on the grid for eight years or longer, and 2 or 3 feeder series (GP2, FR3.5, maybe F3) whereas series like NASCAR and Indycar only have one.

    1. @wushumr2 Funny that your tl;dr version is only like 5 lines shorter than the long version :P

      Anyway, I disagree with you because F1 is a sport and one that people still agree as the best motor racing series in the world. It’s obvious that the competition is high and not everyone will make it, but every competition is like that. We not gonna start limiting, say tennis players, to only have like 12 appearance in Wimbledon just to make room for new bloods.

      Yes, F1 has more situation called pay drivers that makes it looks like there are a lot more worthy people that deserves a seat except they don’t have big sponsors, but I think actually it’s too exaggerated. On every season we probably only have 2 bad pay drivers and they are usually in bottom teams, so in the big picture, their impact on the F1 “true” competition is minimal. Also not all pay driver is bad, for every Chilton there’s also Alonso. You even say Nasr is doing well and its obvious Sauber pick him mainly for the money he bring first. Lastly, if you’re that good, the teams will find a way to get you into F1. Raikkonen, Hamilton, and Verstappen is the proof of that.

      You talked about F1 grid is stale (I’m paraphrasing your last paragraph here), but I don’t think it’s bad. Should Hamilton quit F1 because he reached age 30 instead of beaten by younger drivers? I think it’s the job of Perez, Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Ricciardo, Verstappen and the rest of “young” drivers to prove they are faster than Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso, Button, Massa and the rest of “old” drivers. And frankly, I think the “old” drivers is still better than the “new” ones.

  11. Given that Alexander Rossi has consistently been linked with Haas – he still needs to finish well placed in this years GP2 champs to get his license?

  12. Anthony Davidson back to F1 please!

  13. If they do have a Saturday sprint race, it would be nice for it to be at least 1 car per team, and a bunch of GP2/3 etc winners in the seats. Lottery, paid for, fan-chosen … whatever. It’s the only way a sprint race would fit into the F1 weekend. Leave the main drivers to qualifying and the GP on Sundays.

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