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. 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".
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.
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. 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.
|FIA Formula 2 Championship||40||40||40||30||20||10||8||6||4||3|
|FIA Formula 3 Championship||30||25||20||15||12||9||7||5||3||2|
|FIA Formula E Championship||30||25||20||10||8||6||4||3||2||1|
|FIA World Endurance Championship LMP1||30||24||20||16||12||10||8||6||4||2|
|Formula Regional European Championship||25||20||15||10||7||5||3||2||1||0|
|Super Formula Championship|
|FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2||20||16||12||10||8||6||4||2||0||0|
|Super GT GT500||7||5||3||1|
|Formula Regional Asian Championship||18||14||12||10||6||4||3||2||1||0|
|Formula Regional Americas Championship|
|Formula Regional Japanese Championship|
|Formula Renault Eurocup (folded 2020, expires post-2023)|
|Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters||15||12||10||7||5||3||2||1||0|
|World Touring Car Cup|
|NASCAR Cup Series|
|Super Formula Lights|
|Formula 4 Championships||12||10||7||5||3||2||1||0|
|FIA World Endurance Championship LMGTE Pro|
|Asian Le Mans Series Prototypes||10||8||6||4||2||0|
|European Le Mans Series Prototypes|
|FIA World Endurance Championship LMGTE Am|
|IMSA GTD Pro|
|F3 Asian Championship Winter Series (folded 2019, expires post-2022)||10||7||5||3||1|
|National Formula 3 Championships|
|Indy Pro 2000 Championship|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series|
|Toyota Racing Series|
|International GT3 Series||6||4||2||0||0|
|FIA Karting World Championships Senior||4||3||1|
|FIA Karting Continental Championships Senior||3||2||1||0|
|FIA Karting World Championships Junior|
|FIA Karting Continental Championships Junior||2||1||0|
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
Images and Videos:
- 'APPENDIX L TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPORTING CODE', fia.com, (FIA, 27/09/2017), https://www.fia.com/regulation/category/123, (Accessed 13/12/2017)
- 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)
- PDF: Appendix F to the International Sporting Code (in French and English)
- Subject to 'road course' rounds being held on FIA-homologated circuits (See List of motor racing circuits by FIA Grade for a full list).
- Excluding LMP3 cars.
- The Driver must be at least 15 years old. If a driver competes in this FIA certified competition while under the age of 15, they will be ineligible for any Super Licence points in the current and the following two years.
- A driver can accumulate a maximum of 12 points in FIA karting Championships. Points from karting are valid for five years.
- '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)
- '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)
- '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)