FIA may reconsider superlicence criteria

FIA President Max Mosley has suggested that it may be time to review the criteria for granting superlicences to hopeful Formula One drivers. Currently to be granted a superlicence drivers must have experience in "lesser" racing series, such as ...

FIA President Max Mosley has suggested that it may be time to review the criteria for granting superlicences to hopeful Formula One drivers. Currently to be granted a superlicence drivers must have experience in "lesser" racing series, such as F3000, F3 and the American CART series. A specified level of achievement has to be met although the FIA do have the power to grant exceptions.

One such exception was Kimi Raikkonen: Mosley was opposed to granting him his superlicence at the beginning of last year when he signed for Sauber because the Finn did not meet with the requirements. However, in the light of his capabilites after a four race probation period he was granted a full licence.

"There may be a case for cancelling the criteria we apply for super licenses and simply giving them to anyone who appears truly talented," Mosley said. "Had that been the case, I would have given the licence to Raikkonen last year." He went on to explain that he had never been opposed to Raikkonen racing, only that the FIA's power to make excptions was not intended for cases like his.

"Let's be clear, I never thought that Kimi Raikkonen was not a very good driver. My opposition to giving him a super licence was based on the fact that he did not meet the criteria laid down in the rules and we were being asked to give him a licence as an exception. The exception was always intended for cases like Alain Prost or Nigel Mansell coming back to Formula 1 and not strictly fulfilling the criteria for a licence. It seemed to me wrong to give a licence to somebody straight out of Formula Renault who was young and did not meet the usual criteria for an exception."

Traditionally drivers work up the ranks of lower formulae to F3000 before making the jump to F1. Recently though, more and more youngsters are missing out F3000 -- Jenson Button moved up from British F3 and Raikkonen from Formula Renault wilth only 23 races to his name before entering F1.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Kimi Raikkonen , Nigel Mansell , Alain Prost
Teams Sauber