The FIA has announced it’s “taking steps” to ensure its superlicence system, that rewards results in other series for drivers aiming for Formula 1, remains ‘fair’ despite amid COVID-19’s impact.
Throughout the ongoing pandemic, there has been uncertainty on how junior single-seater series’ superlicence points eligibility has been affected by reduced calendars and entry lists.
A total of 40 superlicence points in qualifying series across a three year period is needed for a driver to successfully apply for a FIA superlicence, which is a necessity to drive in F1.
An FIA statement read: “The measures being explored by the FIA Super Licence Working Group, in consultation with a wide variety of circuit racing teams, promoters and drivers, also seek to safeguard potentially vulnerable series by specifically targeting the encouragement of participation once competitive activity resumes.
“It will also address any disparity in the system that might be caused by differing re-start times due to the varying threat levels presented by COVID-19 around the world.”
Several championships have had to shorten seasons and visit the same circuit multiple times, including F1.
Formula Regional European Championship has come short of the number of entries required to award its full quota of superlicence points, but there have been claims it has already been communicated to drivers in the series that its allocation will be unchanged by its small grid size.
Indy Lights and W Series cancelled their 2020 seasons due to pandemic pressures, while Super Formula has had its European-based entries unable to reach Japan so far due to strict immigration controls to control the spread of the virus.
“The COVID-19 crisis has had a profound effect on all sporting activity and motorsport is no exception,” said FIA Single-Seater Commission president Stefano Domenicalli.
“Many circuit racing series are experiencing economic difficulty, while competitors are naturally concerned about missing a season or committing to a competition amid uncertainty around the re-commencement of racing – and the negative impact either may have on their progress along the FIA’s single-seater pathway.
“The FIA is cognisant of these concerns and we would like to reassure series, teams and competitors that through the Super Licence Working Group the Federation is developing solutions that will afford fairness to competitors, encourage participation and help series maintain some stability during this difficult period.”
Tom Kristensen, president of the FIA Drivers’ Commission, added: “We appreciate that there may be some unease among drivers over ever-changing racing calendars and how potential imbalances in the scoring of superlicence points could negatively affect their progress towards the top of the FIA’s racing ladder.
“The Working Group is consulting with single-seater stakeholders in order to balance the points system so that no drivers are disadvantaged by the changed landscape of motorsport in 2020.”