What Is An F1 Super License, And How Much Does It Cost?

I recently found out that to be a Formula 1 driver, you need to have a so-called Super License. Without it, you can race in other categories like Formula 2, IndyCar Series, or Formula E, but not in F1, and you have to pay for it too. But what is an F1 Super License, and how much does it cost?

The FIA Super License is a compulsory license for drivers to compete in Formula 1 to ensure that they are suitable to race in the category without posing a risk to others. The Super License has an annual fee of €10,000 plus €2,000 for each world championship point earned throughout the season.

The Super License is, in essence, a driver’s license to determine which drivers have the necessary skills to race in Formula 1. Its price has varied over time and has not been without controversy. To address it all better, let’s go into details.

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What Is An F1 Super License?

The FIA Super License is the highest racing license appointed by the FIA. It is a license that the drivers need to participate in Formula 1. Its objective is that to reach the category, the drivers complete specific tests and obtain enough experience to run safely and not pose a risk to others.

Basically, it is a license used to ensure that the drivers who come to F1 are valid enough. It’s like a license to drive on the road, but to drive F1 cars, and was first introduced in 1984 to make sure the drivers who made it into F1 were good enough.


What Are The Requirements Of The F1 Super License?

To obtain an F1 Super License, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Minimum age of 18 at the start of their first F1 competition.
  2. An existing holder of an International Grade A competition license.
  3. A holder of a valid driving license.
  4. Passing an FIA theory test on knowledge of the F1 sporting codes and regulations when applying for the first time.
  5. Completed at least 80% of each of two full seasons of any single-seater Championship reported in Supplement 1 of the regulations.
  6. Accumulated at least 40 points over the previous three seasons in any combination of the championships reported in Supplement 1 of the regulations.

In addition, drivers must perform a 300 km test in an F1 car at race speed in a certified test of no more than two days in duration.


How Much Does An F1 Super License Cost?

The Super License is valid for 12 months, so it has an annual cost. F1 drivers must pay each year to renew it. The price of the Super License has varied over time and has not been without controversy, as drivers have sometimes complained that its price is very high.

Currently, the Super License has an annual fee of €10,000 plus €2,000 for each world championship point earned throughout the season. For example, Max Verstappen, the 2021 world champion with 395.5 points, would have to pay the fixed €10,000 plus €791,000 for the points obtained to participate in 2022, so it is not cheap at all.

Until 2007, the annual fee of the Super License was € 1,690, plus € 447 for each point obtained in the championship, but in 2008 the price rose to € 10,000, and instead of € 447 for each point obtained, it went to € 2,100.

That is why there has been a lot of controversy and criticism from the drivers since the price in the last decade has increased considerably.

The then-FIA President Max Mosley made it clear and declared that they could make a very good living in other categories if they were not happy with the prices. He alleged that the cost was raised to use the money for the logistics of the circuits to make the circuits safer for the drivers.

After all, drivers earn large amounts of money, so this was only a small investment for their safety.


Can You Lose Your F1 Super License?

Once obtained an F1 Super License, a driver can lose it if, in 3 years, he does not drive a Formula 1 car in an official event.

In other words, a driver can spend one or two years without racing in Formula 1, either because he has run out of a seat or for any other reason, as is the case with Alex Albon. Still, if more than three go by, his Super License is annulled, and he would have to return to meet the requested objectives.

The Super License penalty points also play a crucial role and are received for committing infringements on the track. If a driver accumulates 12 penalty points, he is suspended for one race. Penalty points expire 12 months after they are received.

The first driver to have been ejected from a race was Romain Grosjean in 2012 after causing a spectacular accident in the first corner of the Spa-Francorchamps GP.


Current Table Of F1 Super License Penalty Points

PointsDriverNext Expiration
12
7Sergio Pérez18.04.2022
6Sebastian Vettel Nikita Mazepin Max Verstappen Nicholas Latifi28.03.2022 02.05.2022 19.09.2022 06.06.2022
5Lance Stroll Lando Norris Valtteri Bottas18.04.2022 05.06.2022 25.06.2022
4Yuki Tsunoda18.04.2022  
3Antonio Giovinazzi Pierre Gasly04.07.2022 09.05.2022
2Lewis Hamilton Kimi Räikkönen Fernando Alonso18.07.2022 04.07.2022 10.10.2022
1George Russell Esteban Ocon17.07.2022 12.09.2022
0Daniel Ricciardo Robert Kubica Mick Schumacher Carlos Sainz Charles Leclerc– – – – –

Conclusion

The F1 Super License is the driver’s license for Formula 1 drivers, and it is how the FIA ensures that the drivers who participate in the category are suitable.

It has an annual price of €10,000 plus €2,000 per point earned in the past season and is essential to participate in the next season.


Sources

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