Max Verstappen lashes out at the FIA

IndyCar star Colton Herta was rejected a superlicence by the FIA, in order to race for AlphaTauri in 2023.

Following the conclusion of the 2022 Formula 1 season, the FIA’s superlicence system has come under criticism from double World Champion Max Verstappen, who admitted that he doesn’t “always agree” with the system.

The superlicence system is a questionable one, with different championships offering drivers a certain number of points for their licence.

In FIA junior categories, points are awarded based on where you come in certain championships, with those winning a title receiving more points than the person who claims third, for example.

To get to Formula 1, a driver must obtain a certain number of points on their licence, in order to be allowed to race at the pinnacle of motorsport.

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It was for this reason why so much attention was on Logan Sargeant in the F2 season finale, as the American had to finish in a certain position to ensure that he secured enough superlicence points to race for Williams in 2023.

As it stands a driver needs 40 points to race in Formula 1, something that was questioned earlier in the season.

When it was virtually confirmed that Pierre Gasly would be leaving AlphaTauri for Alpine, the Red Bull family looked into the possibility of signing IndyCar star Colton Herta; however, he only has 32 points on his licence that he’s achieved racing in the United States.

Due to his talent and the fact he races in a top-level championship, Red Bull asked the FIA if they would make an exception, given that IndyCar drivers are given less points than most junior drivers in FIA championships.

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Ultimately, Herta was denied a superlicence and the chance to race for AlphaTauri in 2023, with him instead remaining in IndyCar next season.

However, should he win the title next season then he will have enough points to race in F1, meaning his name could crop up once again in the near future.

Interestingly, the system was only introduced as a result of Verstappen being brought to F1 at 17 years old in 2015, something that has stopped drivers switching to F1 at such a young age.

The Red Bull driver labelled the situation that Herta experienced this season as “very painful”, with the Dutchman believing that a “lot of doors” will open for him should he claim glory in IndyCar in 2023.

“I think in the past, a lot of great drivers wouldn’t have been able to jump into Formula 1,” Verstappen explained to NBC Motorsports.

“It is very tough and I don’t always agree with it.

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“I do think that for some drivers it is sometimes necessary, but when you have some really big talents, they don’t need to do 24 years in junior categories to get all those points.

“It is a tough one, it works out for some people and then of course it is very painful if you don’t as you are denied an opportunity to get into Formula 1.

“If Colton wins the championship in IndyCar, then that opens a lot of doors.”