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Brown: F1’s “whole system needs to be reviewed”

The McLaren boss has pointed out that some world champions would not have made it to the sport with the current Super Licence rules

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes that Formula 1’s current Super Licence rules need to be overhauled after Colton Herta’s failure to obtain one.

It appears Colton Herta will not find himself in a Formula 1 seat next year. (Image Credit: Motorsport Images.)

Despite having been linked to a McLaren seat at times this year, it was with AlphaTauri that Herta very nearly got a seat for 2023.

With the Piasco resolved, F1’s silly-season attentions turned primarily to the vacant Alpine seat.

Pierre Gasly remains a likely contender and, if he is to move on, there will be at least one seat available at Red Bull’s sister team next season.

Despite having numerous academy drivers currently competing in Formula 2, Red Bull and Helmut Marko seemingly decided to make Herta their number-one target.

There was one major hurdle, however – the young American’s lack of Super Licence points.

Herta has just 32 of the 40 points required to enter Formula 1 and, despite Red Bull’s best efforts, the FIA have said they will not be making any exceptions. With that, the IndyCar race winner’s F1 avenues appear to have closed, for now at least.

“The whole licensing system needs to be reviewed”

Brown, who still has an agreement with Herta on an F1 testing programme, thinks the Super Licence rules need a complete overhaul. He feels that IndyCar is undervalued.

“I think the whole licensing system needs to be reviewed. I get that the rules are what the rules are and that rules shouldn’t be broken, but I question whether just because those are the rules that are in place now that those are the correct rules.

“Someone of Colton’s caliber, or Pato [O’Ward]’s caliber, or half the [IndyCar] field are Formula 1 capable.

“If someone like Colton, who’s won a lot of IndyCar races isn’t eligible for a Super Licence, then I think we need to review the superlicence system.”

Both the IndyCar and F2 champions receive the requisite 40 points for a Super Licence, but from second place down it is a very different story.

The top three of F2 also receive 40 points, with fourth and fifth receiving 30 and 20 respectively. Despite the stronger pedigree of the series, second to fifth in IndyCar receive 30, 20, 10 and 8 points respectively.

A comparison of the Super Licence points handed out to IndyCar and F2's respective top 10 finishers.
A comparison of the Super Licence points handed out to IndyCar and F2’s respective top 10 finishers.

The McLaren CEO went on to point out that the current rules would have prevented Formula 1 world champions from obtaining a seat in the past.

“I don’t think Max Verstappen would have been eligible for a Super Licence, I don’t think Kimi Räikkönen would have been eligible for a Super Licence.

“So, if you go back and look, there are a couple of guys, world champions, who wouldn’t have got their Super Licence in today’s environment.”

Featured Image Credit: Xavi Bonilla / DPPI

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