FIA clamps down on Formula 1 practice driver licences

The FIA has changed Formula 1 superlicence rules for 2018, to make it tougher for drivers to participate in grand prix free practice sessions

FIA clamps down on Formula 1 practice driver licences

Previously, drivers only had to complete 300km (186 miles) in a "representative Formula 1 car" over two days and answer questions on sporting regulations to qualify for a 'free practice only' superlicence, so long as the FIA adjudged them sufficiently capable based on their prior single-seater experience.

To apply for subsequent licences, drivers only needed their team to demonstrate it had briefed them properly on the sporting rules.

From next season, drivers will also need to have completed six races in Formula 2, or accumulated 25 superlicence points in eligible championships during the previous three years, to qualify for their first F1 free practice superlicence.

Drivers reapplying subsequently need to demonstrate they have completed a full season in F2 or amassed 25 superlicence points during a three-year period.

Previous requirements concerning prior F1 mileage, knowledge of the rules, and FIA judgement that a driver "must have consistently demonstrated outstanding ability in single-seater formula cars" remain in force, under article five of Appendix L in the FIA's international sporting code.

Of the extra drivers who appeared in F1 practice sessions during 2017, only Force India reserve Alfonso Celis Jr would have been excluded had the new rules been in place.

Although Toro Rosso practice driver Sean Gelael did not have 25 superlicence points, his F2 experience was sufficient.

The FIA approved further changes to its superlicence qualification structure in September, awarding more points to drivers who succeed in F2 and IndyCar and downgrading the World Endurance Championship, Formula E and European Formula 3.

The FIA has made a concerted effort to better structure and regulate the awarding of superlicences in grand prix racing since Max Verstappen graduated to F1 as a 17-year-old in 2015.

shares
comments
Toro Rosso: Not the time to think about F1 grid penalties with Honda
Previous article

Toro Rosso: Not the time to think about F1 grid penalties with Honda

Next article

Red Bull may be 2018 Formula 1 title favourite - Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull may be 2018 Formula 1 title favourite - Daniel Ricciardo
Load comments
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021