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An FIA Super Licence, simply referred to as a Super Licence, is a mandatory licence issued by the FIA for drivers to compete in the FIA Formula One World Championship.[1] First issued by the FIA in the 1990s, the Super Licence requires a driver to demonstrate their abilities to drive a Formula One car, either through personal achievement or "outstanding ability in single-seater formula cars".[1]

Since 2015, potential Super Licence holders must have accumulated a certain number of "points" across a range of other categories, requiring a minimum of 40 to have been acquired within a three year period.[2]

HistoryEdit

RequirementsEdit

To obtain an FIA Super Licence, a driver must have demonstrated their ability to drive a single seater car at a top level. To better judge a driver's ability, the FIA introduced a "points" system in 2015, which issued a certain number of points for finishing in the top positions of other racing categories.[2] The list of series considered eligible to "issue" Super Licence points is updated annually by the FIA, with a move to force drivers into their major series: Formula E and the FIA Formula 2 Championship.

A full list of the series in which drivers can obtain Super Licence is outlined below:

Series Finishing Position*
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Single Seaters
FIA Formula 2 Championship 40 40 40 30 20 10 8 6 4 3
FIA Formula 3 European Championship 40 30 20 10 8 6 4 3 2 1
FIA Formula E Championship 40 30 20 10 8 6 4 3 2 1
Indy Car Series 40 30 20 10 8 6 4 3 2 1
GP3 Series 30 20 15 10 7 5 3 2 1
Japanese Super Formula 25 20 15 10 7 5 3 2 1
Indy Lights 15 12 10 7 5 3 2 1
National FIA Formula 4 Championships 12 10 7 5 3 2 1
National FIA Formula 3 Championships 10 7 5 3 1
Formula Renault 10 7 5 3 1
Formula Academy 5 4 3 2 1
Other Categories
FIA World Endurance Championship (LMP 1) 40 30 20 10 8 6 4 3 2 1
DTM 15 12 10 7 5 3 2 1
International V8 Supercars 13 11 9 6 4 3 2 1
CIK-FIA World Championships (Senior) 4 3 2 1
CIK-FIA Continental Championships (Senior) 3 2 1
CIK-FIA World Championships (Junior) 3 2 1
CIK-FIA Continental Championships (Junior) 2 1
Defunct
GP2 Series (2015-16) 40 40 30 20 10 8 6 4 3 2
Formula Renault 3.5/Formula V8 3.5 35 25 20 15 10 7 5 3 2 1
FIA World Touring Car Championship 15 12 10 7 5 3 2 1
Source:[1]

PaymentsEdit

A driver is expected to pay a minimum fee to obtain their licence, and would have to pay for an annual renewal. The cost of the renewal is based on points scored in Formula One on top of the flat fee, meaning the majority of drivers pay a six figure sum for their licence.

Rising FeesEdit

The cost of the Super Licence has been steadily increased in the 2000s, with various proposals raised by the FIA in 2009 and 2012. During the latter proposal in 2012, 2009 World Champion Jenson Button led calls to block the move, stating:

Personally I don't feel that we should be paying different super licence fees for different drivers and different point situations. I mean, when you get your licence to drive on the road, because you do more miles you don't pay more for it, do you? And you don't pay more for a licence in any other category because you've got a better car or whatever, so it should be a flat fee.

Button's fee after his 2009 title victory would be in excess of a $1,200,000 for the subsequent 2010 Season.[4]

NationalityEdit

The nationality displayed on a driver's Super Licence will always match the nationality displayed on their passport, for it is a required document for any racing licence application.[1] Drivers of dual nationality may choose which of their nationalities they wish to race under, although this option is not extended to drivers who live in another country to their birth.[1]

Discrepancies between the nationality stated on a driver's Super Licence, and one stated on official entry lists, are usually down to mistakes by the entry list author, rather than in the issuing of the licence. A prime example of this was Ulsterman Eddie Irvine, whom was frequently listed as Irish on entry lists rather than British as his passport and licence displayed.[5]

ReferencesEdit

Images and Videos:

References:
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 'APPENDIX L TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPORTING CODE', fia.com, (FIA, 27/09/2017), https://www.fia.com/regulation/category/123, (Accessed 13/12/2017)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lawrence Barretto, 'FIA makes changes to planned Formula 1 superlicence points system', autosport.com, (Haymarket Media, 10/07/2015), https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/119938/changes-to-f1-superlicence-points-plan, (Accessed 13/12/2017)
  3. 'Button wants flat super licence fee', espn.co.uk, (ESPN Inc., 06/11/2012), http://en.espn.co.uk/fia/motorsport/story/94210.html, (Accessed 13/12/2017)
  4. 'Motorsports Governing Body FIA Increases License Fees For F1 Drivers' Super License', sportsbusinessdaily.com, (American City Business Journals, 06/11/2017), http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Global/Issues/2012/11/06/Leagues-and-Governing-Bodies/FIA-driver-licences.aspx, (Accessed 13/12/2017)
  5. '1996 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: ENTRY LIST', fia.com, (FIA, 1995). Accessed via web.archive.org, (Web Archive, 2017), https://web.archive.org/web/20050302101622/http://www.fia.com/resources/documents/648804392__04_12_1995_F1_Enrty_96.pdf, (Accessed 13/12/2017)
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