Illustration for article titled How The FIA Has Changed Its Super License System Due To COVID-19

Picture: Lars Baron (Getty Pictures)

Motorsport is regulated by varied sanctioning organizations, with one of many largest worldwide our bodies being the FIA, which awards factors to drivers that basically qualify them for competing in top-level sequence like System One. However within the COVID-19 period, the place many racing sequence have cancelled or postponed occasions, some drivers can be susceptible to shedding extra factors than others. Right here’s how the FIA is regulating the Tremendous License system within the wake of the pandemic.

How It’s Used

The Tremendous License was first issued within the 1990s as a solution to present {that a} driver was geared up to pilot a particular degree of equipment—primarily high-level vehicles like these present in F1. Since 2015, the FIA has created a fairly advanced method to find out Tremendous License eligibility primarily based on the buildup of factors (together with a number of different necessities, like age). Finally, a driver wants 40 factors to qualify for a Tremendous License.

Factors are accrued primarily based on a driver’s last championship place in a race sequence the 12 months earlier than. So, when you end within the high three within the System 2 championship, for instance, you’re awarded 40 factors and are eligible for a Tremendous License.

Each sequence has a special degree of factors. In the event you win a championship in Indy Lights or Supercars, you’re solely awarded 15 factors. So, an Indy Lights champion wouldn’t have the ability to qualify for a Tremendous License except they’d additionally received a System Regional European Championship or a Tremendous System championship.

Principally, the FIA has checked out international racing sequence and have determined which correlate most on to F1. There was criticism about the way in which it awards factors, however that’s a weblog for a special time.

How It Has Modified

Within the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, nonetheless, most racing sequence are going through varied ranges of crises. Some, like Indy Lights, aren’t contesting in any respect in 2020. Others have been severely shortened—which is an issue, since a sequence is required to host 5 totally different occasions over three totally different circuits.

For impacted drivers seeking to work their means as much as F1, that’s one thing of a downer. So, the FIA has introduced in a bulletin that each driver who had a Tremendous License going into 2020 will retain that very same license degree for 2021.

There are exceptions to the rule, after all. A driver that wins a championship in 2020 will clearly wish to capitalize on the rise of Tremendous License factors in the event that they completed in, say, 10th place final 12 months.

Different exemptions embody sequence like System E that contest a 2019-2020 schedule, or drivers who want to be reevaluated as a consequence of non-COVID issues.

Primarily, a static license is an efficient factor for drivers who have been contracted to sequence that finally didn’t happen. With out the lodging, it’s possible that plenty of younger drivers would have fallen off the F1 ladder.