F1 drivers say Formula Renault 3.5 needs more superlicence points

Formula 1 drivers Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz Jr believe Formula Renault 3.5 has been undervalued in the FIA's new superlicence points system

Motorsport's governing body announced earlier this year several changes to the requirements to earn a superlicence to race in F1, including a set number of points a driver must earn through racing in various series.

Renault's sub-F1 category was ranked below a 'future FIA F2 championship', GP2, European F3, the LMP1 division of the World Endurance Championship and IndyCar, and was scored equal to GP3.

Vettel, Ricciardo and Sainz all graduated from F1 from FR3.5 (Sainz as champion), and all three have questioned the FIA's positioning of the Renault championship.

"I drove the old car but I thought it was a great car, a great championship," said Vettel.

"You get a lot of track time which is obviously very important. I think it should be appreciated more."

The four-time F1 champion also questioned the need to create a superlicence points system in the first place.

"I don't see the reason why young drivers have to score points," he said.

"It's clear when someone is ready, someone has the talent to make the step.

"It doesn't matter where he comes from, so I guess it's just another thing implemented to confuse [people]."

Ricciardo, like Vettel a race winner in FR3.5 earlier in his career (below), feels the series should not be ranked below the main FIA F3 championship.

"When I was doing World Series [FR3.5] it was the old-spec car so it wasn't even as fast as they are now and I thought that was already a good stepping stone," said the Red Bull driver.

"The car taught me a lot to prepare me well for Formula 1 and now I believe [the current car, introduced for 2012] is quite a lot closer.

"I would say it should be closer than that, it should get a few more points.

"Judging on the speed of the car, and the field is good in World Series so I would expect it to have at least the same amount of points as Formula 3."

Reigning FR3.5 champion Sainz added the latest version of the car makes FR3.5 a worthy place to prepare for F1.

"Judging by my experience I can only say that 3.5 prepared me very well for Formula 1," he said.

"It's a very quick car, especially the last spec, has a lot of downforce and I felt when I stepped up to Formula 1 I was ready.

"So probably more points would have been - in my opinion - I would give it more points."


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