Superlicence changes boost Evans F1 bid
GP2 ace Mitch Evans feels the FIA’s new superlicence qualification process will provide proven single seaters drivers with more opportunities to progress to Formula 1.
The 20-year-old New Zealander, who finished fourth in the Formula 1 feeder series last year, is an advocate of the new superlicence regulations revealed by the sport’s governing body last week.
Under the new system, set to be introduced in 2016, drivers can only qualify for a superlicence if they are at least 18 years old and have recorded at least 40 points via the FIA’s new points structure over a three-year period.
Points are awarded for championship finishes in a range of international and national categories.
Applicants will also need to hold a valid road car driving licence, complete 300km of testing in an F1 car and pass a test on FIA sporting regulations.
Having impressed on a global stage by winning the 2012 GP3 title before scoring two victories and eight podium finishes in GP2 during the last two seasons, the Auckland driver has so far been overlooked for F1 tests.
Evans last year lamented that a lack of funding has so far provided a barrier to an F1 test debut despite positive talks with teams.
While pay drivers have been more prevalent in F1 recently, the Kiwi feels this new ruling will now see the most talented drivers earn opportunities to compete in the pinnacle of the sport.
“A lot of teams are taking drivers on with a lot of money and backing which makes it very difficult for drivers without money,” Evans told Speedcafe.com.
“I think the new points system is one of the best rules to come out in the last few years.
“With this new points system hopefully the cream will rise to the top and hopefully the drivers that deserve to be at the pinnacle of the spot will get the opportunity there.
“Some of these guys are coming from nowhere in terms of results and not shining amongst the rest are getting F1 tests which is a bit of a joke really.
“From the public’s point of view they are not stupid, they know some of the drivers don’t deserve to be there so I hope it has a really positive impact on the sport.
“Its not a lifeline but it does give you a bit more hunger as there is a better chance of getting a superlicence.”
The new superlicence system has already ruffled feathers in the sport with Renault making contact with the FIA after its Formula Renault 3.5 and 2.0 championships were graded lower than Formula 3 and Formula 4 in the new points structure.
Evans is currently working towards securing a deal to compete in GP2 for a third season with talks currently ongoing with several teams including Russian Time.
“The next ideal option will be to do GP2 again so that is what we are working towards but who that will be with I’m not too sure,” added Evans.
“Russian Time are very happy with what we did last year and I’d like to keep that rolling that would be great.
“We haven’t settled on anything and we are just keeping our options open in case anything pops up.
“You are always in talks with teams and after a decent year a lot of teams want to have you which is a good problem to have.
“We are in talks with a few teams including Russian Time and other categories just as a back up but nothing has been confirmed yet.”