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Lawson: Super Formula deserves same superlicence points as F2

Red Bull junior Liam Lawson believes that aspiring Formula 1 drivers should be awarded the same number of superlicense points in Super Formula as Formula 2.

Tomoki Nojiri, Liam Lawson,  TEAM MUGEN

Tomoki Nojiri, Liam Lawson, TEAM MUGEN

Masahide Kamio

Lawson has switched to Japan’s top single-seater series for his 2023 campaign after two seasons in F2, causing a sensation by winning on his debut for Team Mugen at Fuji Speedway earlier this month.

The New Zealander came to Super Formula having already amassed the 40 points necessary for a superlicence through his exploits in F2, DTM and other junior single-seater series like Formula 3 and the Toyota Racing Series.

Winning the championship Super Formula only offers 25 points, with the second- and third-placed drivers getting 20 and 15 points respectively, while F2 awards 40 points for the top three finishers.

Asked by Autosport if he felt his successes could encourage more European drivers to try Super Formula, Lawson said that only those drivers who had already acquired their superlicence could realistically make the switch and still aim for F1.

“It depends on your superlicence situation,” said Lawson. “If you don’t have one, the way it is structured at the moment, you have to do Formula 2 just because it offers so many points.

“I wish they offered the same number of points here, 40 points, because then I think a lot more people would do it.

“This championship should be what F2 is to be honest. With how the cars are and the way the teams operate, it is much closer to Formula 1.”

 

At last year’s Japanese Grand Prix, FIA Deputy President Robert Reid was asked by Japanese media for his opinion on whether the amount of superlicence points awarded to Super Formula relative to other categories was fair.

Reid admitted that series such as F2, F3 - which awards 30 points to the champion - and the Formula Regional European Championship, which sits on a par with Super Formula, benefit from being part of the primary FIA single-seater ladder.

“The superlicence working group looks at all the points for all the different categories and takes into account lots of different things,” said Reid. “One is being part of the FIA single-seater pathway, having FIA safety standards, these kinds of things.

“I think it’s important to recognise series like [Super Formula] in Japan. But it’s also important to recognise the core parts of the FIA pathway. 

“These things are constantly reviewed. I think we have a good system but we constantly look at the different levels and opportunities.”

Additional reporting by Kenichiro Ebii

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