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Williams F1 tester Susie Wolff urges FIA superlicence rule change

Susie Wolff has urged the FIA to reconsider Formula 1's superlicence criteria so that test drivers do not miss out on race seats from 2016

Although the Williams test driver has completed more than 1000km of running for her team since 2012, she currently will not qualify for a superlicence under new criteria being introduced next year.

Mercedes reserve Pascal Wehrlein, who stepped in for Lewis Hamilton on the opening day of the first Barcelona test, would also not qualify despite having won races in European F3 and DTM and will need to triumph in a major junior championship to have a hope of racing in F1.

"It can't be like that," Wolff told AUTOSPORT about the superlicence situation. "Pascal is in a different place to me, he's an up-and-coming driver. He's a guy that it can't limit the likes of him coming in.

"We've got to be aware of the fact that the time in a Formula 1 car is absolutely so valuable because it's so limited.

"So every kilometre you can do gives you an advantage as a driver. It gives you experience and it can't be overlooked completely."

The FIA admitted earlier this year that it would be open to tweaking the superlicence points system, but it is thought unlikely that testers like Wolff or Werhlein would qualify without accruing the necessary racing success.

Wolff added that pursuing race options herself in an attempt to gain the necessary points was not an option for this season, but did not rule out doing so in the future.

"It is not possible with my schedule at Williams," she said.

"If for whatever reason the licence situation is the thing that stops me I will do everything I can to turn that around.

"It's quite unfortunate for someone that's had quite some mileage over three years in an F1 car, for that to be the stumbling block.

"It would be difficult to stomach if the chance was there."

HWA Mercedes DTM driver Wehrlein, who could race in F1 this year if a seat became available due to satisfying the current superlicence criteria, agreed with Wolff that testing experience should be taken into consideration by the FIA.

"For this season it wouldn't be a problem," he said. "For 2016 when the new points system [comes in], let's see.

"I've done already so much testing this year it shouldn't be a problem to race next year in Formula 1.

"I think I will drive more [in F1] this year. I want to get as much experience as I can and drive as much as possible."

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