Sean Gelael, Toro Rosso , Yas Marina, 2017

F2 drivers given priority in new F1 super licence rules

2018 F1 season

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Revisions to the Formula One super licence rules will make it harder for drivers who have not participated in Formula Two to take part in practice sessions.

From the 2018 F1 season new free practice super licences will only be issued to drivers who have done either six Formula Two events or gathered 25 superlicence points during the previous three years.

Previously drivers needed only to “successfully complete a question session regarding the most important points of the International Sporting Code and of the F1 Sporting Regulations” to qualify for a free practice licence.

Also from next year drivers will only be issued a second or further free practice super licence if they have completed an entire F2 season or scored 25 superlicence points.

The FIA has already revised and expanded the superlicence points system for 2018.

Changes to article 5.2.4 of Appendix L to the International Sporting Code

New 2018 text

a) The first time he applies for a Free Practice Only Super Licence, the driver must have completed six events of the FIA Formula Two Championship or have accumulated at least 25 points, during the previous three-year period. In addition, the driver must successfully complete a question session regarding the most important points of the International Sporting Code and of the F1 Sporting Regulations.
b) For all successive Free Practice Only Super Licence requests, the driver must have completed a full season of the FIA Formula Two Championship, or have accumulated at least 25 points, during the previous three-year period. In addition, the F1 team concerned has to certify, through the F1 Super Licence application form, that they have held a briefing with their driver about the most important points of the International Sporting Code and of the F1 Sporting Regulations

Old 2017 text

a) The first time he applies for a Free Practice Only Super Licence, the driver must successfully complete a question session regarding the most important points of the International Sporting Code and of the F1 Sporting Regulations.
b) For all successive Free Practice Only Super Licence requests, the F1 team concerned has to certify, through the F1 Super Licence application form, that they have held a briefng with their driver about the most important points of the International Sporting Code and of the F1 Sporting Regulations.

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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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Posted on Categories 2018 F1 rules, 2018 F1 season

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  • 37 comments on “F2 drivers given priority in new F1 super licence rules”

    1. How many times have they changed the rules on this?

      Might make a drinking game out of it

      1. Was going to comment on that as well and that might make F2 even more interesting that initially intended since it is always the best place to be in order to reach F1 according to the rules. And young drivers can’t spend too much time waiting, playing around, and hoping the serie they are in will provide them enough points by the end of the year. If you have the opportunity to reach F2 and want to drive in F1 (who wouldn’t) then go for it.

        In a sense that could provide excellent benchmark if must drivers pretending for F1 seats are in F2… Hopefully the champion will often be promoted otherwise it loses its interest (especially that he can’t prove himself in F2 anymore afterwards)

        1. f2 also may end up being f1, with ferrari, mercedes, renault, etc. leaving & starting their own formula.

          1. NEVER going to happen, repeat after me, NOT happening. The teams whine and moan, claiming they will and they all know what will happen. Zero visibility, zero sponsorship, zero fan support and then zero series. It is purely PR saber rattling to claim they will take their toys and go elsewhere. NO ONE is beating the doors down for another open-wheel elite series.

    2. It’s worth pointing out that these rules will make it harder for drivers to get a seat in F2 and in F1 practice sessions. Therefore, as always the drivers with less financial backing are the ones who lose out even more

      1. Indeed. It seems that a few of the very promising guys who are currently in line to be test drivers for top teams would not be able to do FP sessions.

      2. Any idea of the cost to run a F2 team? Couldn’t it be used by top team to train crew and evaluate drivers?

        1. F2 costs a fortune for drivers….if this continues only rich kids stand a chance. F2 is hard enough but lower down who will give money to a really fast kid from a poor background? By F3 if you are really good you can attract money but if lower Formula become expensive F1 would end with Strolls instead of drivers fro regular background like Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Schumacher(s). To five the path to F1 through F2 will only make it more expensive and thus the feeder series into F1.

      3. What I don’t like is the fact you don’t have to achieve anything in F2. Only turn up. So really you are making the barrier to F1 the same as the barrier to F2? Surely it should be results in F2…
        This means turning up to 6 F2 races is equivalent to a driver winning both Nascar and the World Rally Championship!

    3. Stupid & completely unnecessary.

      I get what there trying to do with this whole points system (Have a defined ladder system that leads to F1), But I don’t think it’s necessary nor do I think it will work any better than the way it’s been until now.

      Will this points system ensure only the best drivers get to F1 or will it result in drivers with backing getting into the better teams, spending longer in F2 & eventually using those couple years of experience & understanding of the cars & tyres (Especially important with the Pirelli’s) to eventually get the results needed to earn the points to get them to F1.

      1. I get what there trying to do with this whole points system (Have a defined ladder system that leads to F1)

        This is more to do with entrenching the FIA as the dominant body for motorsport worldwide as it’s now virtually impossible to reach F1 from series outside their control.

    4. I agree with all comments, this is not a good idea

      The Title of this new rule is ” Hello money, Bye bye talent “

      1. I dont see how that changes anything.

        1. @rethla, it is one of those things where I imagine most will enjoy using it as an opportunity to shriek and complain about the process (even though it could be said that fan complaints were one of the things that drove the recent changes in regulations to begin with), because people always seem to have a need for somebody to play the villain in the sport.

          As you say though, the real question is whether this will actually have any impact in reality, and I would agree that the answer will probably be that it makes no real difference in practise. It has been pointed out that the only driver in recent years who would have been affected by this change would have been Alfonso Celis Jr – and most of the fans here have complained that he was a talentless driver who should never have been allowed to drive an F1 car.

      2. This new rule will curb money grabbing and bring in talent.
        There won’t be any more guys like Pastor Maldonado, Lance Stroll or Vitally Petrov.

    5. This is stupid. It’s been clear since the moment the whole super license points system was introduced that the FIA is trying to make F2 (or GP2 as it was then) compulsory. That can only be bad for the sport as many good drivers don’t have the budget to compete at that level, so it’s making reaching F1 even more of a rich man’s game. The quality of drivers that have come to F1 over the years from other categories, even touring car and endurance racing, shows that this was unnecessary. Okay, the FIA might argue that by going down this route they avoid un-heard-of pay drivers like Chanoch Nissany participating, but if you make reaching F1 so expensive, then you’re only going to get pay drivers throughout the entire system. Now, some of those may of course be very talented, but those without financial support will find it even more difficult than it has been in the past. Also, I feel the points system contributed greatly to the demise of FR3.5; at the time it was an equal of GP2 but as it was not administered by the FIA, they saw fit to try to destroy it by awarding so few points. I think it’s obvious to most that the entire superlicense points thing is not great, but of course the FIA are so bloody-minded they’ll never change it.

    6. Ah, this isn’t as bad as I first thought. There’s the 25 points method of entry, which doesn’t require a season of F$2, so the properly talented ones still have a point of entry.

    7. The new rules could simply said that if you don’t spend enough money to participate in the ‘only official lower series’ please don’t ever think you are going to be F1 driver.
      Note: Yes. The driver in article photo earn his right to be in free practice session by his 2015 GP2 even when he doesn’t score any point back then.

    8. I’m sure there is an anti-monopoly lawsuit somewhere in there!

      1. I believe this is surely illegal. The FIA is a governing body, or so we are told. It’s not supposed to be running as a business, trying to shut down the competitors.

        The FIA has even got a stake in F1, despite (so I am told) them not being allowed to.

        The problem, of course, nobody has the money to challenge them. Other series will have collapsed by the time they get to court

      2. I was thinking exactly the same. Especially as the EU are already sniffing around F1.

        Interestingly this only covers free practice. Hopefully the best drivers with little budget will still get picked up for the young driver tests.

      3. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        21st December 2017, 12:12

        There’s definitely the makings of one, but who would take it on? Renault is the big loser from this deck stacking, but seem to have taken the death of FR3.5 on the chin already. And Indycar/Superformula probably see it as a fight they can’t win.
        “I am altering the deal, pray I don’t alter it any further.”

        1. or, an Indycar/SuperFormula merger where Ferrari, Mercedes & Renault go, while F2 becomes the new spec F1 series.

    9. Sundar Srinivas Harish
      21st December 2017, 1:24

      And they’ve gone ahead and reduced the points LMP1 gives? Sure, LMP1 is in a major downturn at the moment, but they can’t possibly believe that a series with races which last a minimum of six hours, with each driver, on average, drives about 1.3 times a grand prix race distance, where they deal with traffic that is literally fighting for championship points at any given point in time, is less gruelling than a race where you run less than four-tenths of a grand prix race distance?

      The FIA needs to stop discriminating between closed and open cockpit racing, especially when endurance racing is older than Formula 1 itself. The top tier of a racing format is still top tier, it can’t be swept beneath the carpet of F2.

      1. The FIA has always served to downgrade endurance racing to ensure it never vies with Formula 1 for attention.

    10. Duncan Snowden
      21st December 2017, 1:33

      In the current circumstances, in which drivers can’t get near-F1 experience through a long programme of in-season testing outside the FIA’s direct control, or race experience with reasonably competitive smaller teams, this kind of makes sense. Kind of… more or less… I suppose.

      But it’s that situation that’s the problem; trying to paper over the cracks in this way will only institutionalize it, make it harder to fix in the long run (for example, smaller teams will find it difficult to maintain their traditional role as nurseries of talent unless they’re “junior” teams for the big guns, probably with associated F2 and F3 teams too, entrenching a semi-official two-class status for Formula 1), and – as other commenters have said – could end up being counter-productive, assisting drivers with money over those with talent. And yes, it definitely seems anti-competitive (in the business sense).

      In short, a textbook case of “logical-but-stupid”.

    11. Title is misleading, it’s not “priority”, but an actual requisite.

    12. Michael Brown (@)
      21st December 2017, 4:38

      I guess it was worth introducing the points system to destroy FR 3.5.

      1. Absolutely. I’ve states that in my comment below. That has been the ulterior objective of the FIA. And they’ve succeeded.

    13. Agree, it is not just technically correct, but also reflects what seems to be the intention of FIA.

    14. And all this only because a 17yo sneaked into F1 without the proper experience.

      I’m glad that FIA took immediate and strong action against such a travesty ;)

      1. It’s clear now that was an excuse to do all of this, once they realised the opportunity it gave them

    15. 24-year age limit with 3000 km of private tests would be enough

    16. This whole points system rubbish is something I’ve never been in favour of. Motor racing has aways been a sport where you make your own way to the top. That depends on your budget, on the competition level of the the various series, and just circumstances. The initial points system totally disregarded the World Series by Renault (Formula Renault 3.5), causing Renault to abandon the series eventually causing its demise. This series, formerly known as Nissan World Series, was so competitive and even faster than F3000. It gave us so many great drivers including the all-time great Fernando Alonso, Robert Kubica, Heikki Kovaleinen, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, etc. I’m sad that the FIA is selfishly protecting its championships and downgrading other great ones.

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