Paffett says new F1 super license system is flawed

Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:43pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - Formula One's new points-based super license system for 2016 is flawed and needs a rethink, according to former McLaren test driver and 2005 German Touring Car (DTM) champion Gary Paffett.

The 33-year-old Briton told Reuters at the Autosport International show on Saturday that the governing FIA was wrong to ignore the DTM in a list of recognized feeder series.

The FIA has announced that from next year new applicants must be over 18 and to have acquired at least 40 qualifying points from other series in the last three years to obtain the mandatory license.

The move would, if applied this year, have kept out Toro Rosso's 17-year-old Dutch rookie Max Verstappen and others with limited experience or success.

Only five series will offer the chance to acquire 40 points in one year, and DTM -- which has had several ex-F1 drivers in its ranks over the years -- was excluded entirely.

"I agree with the theory," said Paffet of the age restriction and requirement for proven expertise. "But omitting certain championships, and especially the DTM, from the super license points system is quite a flaw.

"When I won the championship in 2005, that was my third year in DTM and I had a good chance of getting a drive in F1 in 2006.

"Now, with this system, that would not have happened because I'd have done three years in the DTM and I wouldn't have scored any points for the super license."   Continued...