Ex-Red Bull junior and IndyCar star blasts FIA Super License requirements

Current IndyCar star Patricio O'Ward has voiced his displeasure over the FIA's Super License requirements


Former Red Bull junior driver Patricio ‘Pato’ O’Ward has criticised the current FIA Super License points requirements, saying his fourth and third-place finishes in the 2020 and 2021 IndyCar standings should be more than enough to justify his ability behind the wheel of a race car.

Now signed with McLaren‘s IndyCar project, O’Ward recently completed the end of season Formula 1 test at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit. Despite his strong testing pace and his IndyCar performances, O’Ward still doesn’t meet the 40 point threshold required to secure an F1 Super License, with the Mexican driver currently 10 points short.

“For me it’s ridiculous that someone who finished third and fourth in the IndyCar series doesn’t get 40 points for the super license. I think many drivers would agree with me,” O’Ward told Motorsport-Total.

“At the end of the day you depend on whether people want to give you something or not. And if they don’t, that’s a shame, you’ll just have to wait another year and get ten more points I guess.”

O’Ward’s Formula 1 Dream

Despite being committed to his IndyCar program, O’Ward openly admits that his ultimate dream would be to race in Formula 1.

“At the moment I only have one focus, and that’s called IndyCars,” O’Ward continued.

“Who knows whether Formula 1 will be an option or not. If it comes, I would take it 100 percent. Any driver in my position would do that because it’s Formula 1.

“I used to watch this and dreamed about it. And the dream you have as a child will never go away.”

What are the current Super License requirements?

There are six main requirements a driver must meet in order to be eligible for a Formula 1 Super License. They are as follows:

  1. The driver must be 18 years of age.
  2. The driver must have a valid driving license.
  3. The driver must hold a Grade A competition license.
  4. The driver must pass a theoretical test on various Formula 1 regulations.
  5. The driver must have completed at least 80% of two full seasons of any of the FIA sanctioned single-seater championships.
  6. The driver must have accumulated at least 40 Super License points over the course of three consecutive seasons.

Super License points are awarded across several categories of racing, with drivers eligible for points right from their karting days, with more competitive championships such as Formula 2 yielding a greater number of points.

Points are also awarded for free practice appearances, on the caveat that a driver has already accumulated 25 points or has made a certain number of appearances in Formula 2.

Verstappen’s Role

The current requirements surrounding the Super License are a byproduct of Max Verstappen’s phenomenal rise through the junior formula ranks, which saw him make his F1 debut at the age of 17.

Given the fact that the Dutchman is now the reigning F1 World Champion, it does cast a light on whether or not the Super License points system in place is required to begin with.

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
- Advertisment -


Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during Sprint Qualifying ahead of 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

What time does 2024 Chinese Grand Prix Start?

The anticipation builds for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, an event that promises high-speed action and strategic battles at...
Felix Rosenqvist IndyCar 2024 Grand Prix of Long Beach pole position | Penske Entertainment: Chris Owens

Felix Rosenqvist takes tight pole position for IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach 

Felix Rosenqvist secured pole position for the 2024 IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach by the smallest of margins,...
Fernando Alonso defends from Carlos Sainz in the 2024 Chinese GP Sprint | Peter Fox / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Why the Chinese GP battle behind Red Bull will be intense

Anything but a Max Verstappen victory at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix would be a huge shock as a...
Max Verstappen celebrates pole position after qualifying for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull reach new heights with 100th pole – Horner should savour dominance while it...

Red Bull haven't won many fans with their continued dominance of Formula 1 since the arrival of the 2022...

Wolff rubbishes Hamilton claim after Chinese GP exit

Toto Wolff hit back at Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, claiming his Q1 exit was due...
Carlos Sainz during the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix weekend | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Aston Martin protest over Carlos Sainz Chinese GP qualifying crash dismissed

After a sprint Saturday at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, the drama went on a little longer as the...
Fernando Alonso during 2024 Australian GP | Aston Martin F1 Team

Fernando Alonso reveals Aston Martin’s true pace compared to F1 rivals after Chinese GP...

Fernando Alonso believes Aston Martin are slower than Ferrari, McLaren and potentially even Mercedes despite outqualifying all of them...
Max Verstappen of Red Bull leads Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes during the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix Sprint | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen admits to qualifying confusion after Lewis Hamilton caught out

Max Verstappen revealed he was confused by his opening run in Q3 before eventually improving to take his fifth...
Lewis Hamilton looks on in a press conference at the 2024 pre-season test in Bahrain | Mercedes / Jiri Krenek

Lewis Hamilton upbeat after Mercedes disaster in Chinese GP qualifying: Sh*t happens

Lewis Hamilton admits his changes made to his car prior to qualifying for the Formula 1 2024 Chinese Grand...

Christian Horner: Perez driving for Red Bull future

Christian Horner praised Sergio Perez's recovery after a chastening 2023 Formula 1 season, as the Mexican completed a Red...
- Advertisment -