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How do you solve a problem like Colton Herta?


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#1 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 13:45

https://www.motorspo...tials/10360869/

So the fia are currently considering if their own super license scoring system is worth binning off if it means they can get an American driver into F1

Should F1 change the rules or (more likely) use an interpretation of their own rules that suits the cause better this time round?

There’s been some awful drivers who have still gotten a super license, and as this situation shows - some good drivers who haven’t got the golden ticket… is the whole system worth binning off or is it fit for purpose still?

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#2 babbel

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 13:49

They should just retroactively adjust the SL points for Indycar. Bringing it up to the level of F2 (or slightly below) solves a lot of problems



#3 Risil

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 13:50

Superlicence system is bad: the way series are assigned points is arbitrary and opaque and looks a lot like the FIA picking winners. As the source quoted in that article says, "If he [Herta] gets a licence we might as well all stop investing in F3 and F2." Is that F1 protecting its junior ladder or is it anti-competitive? Is there a difference?

 

If a driver is good enough, where he or she has raced before is irrelevant.



#4 Afterburner

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 13:50

They should consider canning the $200M anti-dilution fee while they’re at it.



#5 Beri

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 13:51

The Super License system is no problem in general. The FIA only needs to grade the IndyCar series higher. Because Herta finished twice within the top 5 of the standings, yet he falls short on SL points. Which is ridiculous as the series is the pinnacle of Formula Racing in the America's and should be valued much better than this.



#6 Nathan

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 13:51

Babbel hit the nail.  The only issue is non-FIA series get too few points.  Otherwise, I like it.



#7 FLB

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 13:51

https://www.motorspo...tials/10360869/

So the fia are currently considering if their own super license scoring system is worth binning off if it means they can get an American driver into F1

Should F1 change the rules or (more likely) use an interpretation of their own rules that suits the cause better this time round?

There’s been some awful drivers who have still gotten a super license, and as this situation shows - some good drivers who haven’t got the golden ticket… is the whole system worth binning off or is it fit for purpose still?

 

If they change it *just* so Hertamania can get it, it undermines the whole system, IMHO. This quote from the article is quite revealing:

 

 

One paddock source closely associated with young drivers told Motorsport.com: “If he gets a licence we might as well all stop investing F3 and F2.”



#8 messy

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 13:52

Indycar should be worth as much as F2 for me. Higher level series, faster cars, less directly relevant to F1 - balance it out and offer the same points. I disagree with the "we might as well stop investing in F2 and F3" comment especially. Surely alternative paths to F1 should be encouraged. Not everyone can get straight onto that ladder especially non-Europeans. 


Edited by messy, 31 August 2022 - 13:54.


#9 HerbieMcQueen

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 13:53

They should just retroactively adjust the SL points for Indycar. Bringing it up to the level of F2 (or slightly below) solves a lot of problems

This is the only sensible answer.



#10 Dolph

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 13:54

If they change it *just* so Hertamania can get it, it undermines the whole system, IMHO. This quote from the article is quite revealing:

 

 

I have to say that quote is utter BS. Like anyone could go to IndyCar and end the year in the top 3.



#11 FLB

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 13:55

Superlicence system is bad: the way series are assigned points is arbitrary and opaque and looks a lot like the FIA picking winners. As the source quoted in that article says, "If he [Herta] gets a licence we might as well all stop investing in F3 and F2."

 

If a driver is good enough, where he or she has raced before is irrelevant.

 

The whole point of the SL system is to force drivers through the FIA ladder. It was created by Domenicali himself when he was President of the FIA's Single-Seater Commission in 2014.

 

https://www.autospor...045527/5045527/


Edited by FLB, 31 August 2022 - 13:56.


#12 Risil

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 13:57

That's dreadful, isn't it?



#13 Beri

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 13:58

Indycar should be worth as much as F2 for me. Higher level series, faster cars, less directly relevant to F1 - balance it out and offer the same points. I disagree with the "we might as well stop investing in F2 and F3" comment especially. Surely alternative paths to F1 should be encouraged. Not everyone can get straight onto that ladder especially non-Europeans. 

 

Rate the IndyCar Series as F2, as been brought up here, would be a good solution. 



#14 SenorSjon

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 13:58

We already touched upon it in the silly season thread. But the SL system is to protect the Fia Fx ladder and their teams with investments. It worked, because Stroll and Latifi spend millions to get their sons in F1. They wanted to prevent a second coming of Verstappen who bypassed most of the system.


Edited by SenorSjon, 31 August 2022 - 13:59.


#15 Sash1

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 13:59

What is Colton Herta's problem? He is behind Marcus Ericcson who did f all in F1. So if he doesn't get enough SCL points it perfectly reflects his F1 capabilities.



#16 FLB

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:00

We already touched upon it in the silly season thread. But the SL system is to protect the Fia Fx ladder and their teams with investments. It worked, because Stroll and Latifi spend millions to get their sons in F1. They wanted to prevent a second coming of Verstappen who bypassed most of the system.

As had Raïkkonen before him. 



#17 F1matt

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:00

from a drivers perspective what is the price difference between a F2 seat and an Indycar seat for a full season? I am guessing the F2 seat is way more expensive? I think this will be the FIAs concern. 



#18 PayasYouRace

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:08

I have no problem with an organisation changing its own rules if they’re not working as they should.

I think the super licence points system is a great idea in theory, as a way of quantifying a driver’s skill and experience to ensure they’re up to F1 standard. However, I agree with the thinking that it has been biased too much in favour of the FIA ladder and doesn’t properly credit results achieved outside those feeder series.

Indycar is particularly poorly valued. I disagree with those that say it should be valued as per F2. Indycar isn’t a feeder series. It’s a top level series closer to F1 than F2. A driver with Herta’s achievements there has more than qualified themselves for a shot at F1. They’ve certainly shown that they have the experience and speed necessary to not be a danger in a Grand Prix. Well above some of the pay drivers at the back of the F1 field.

#19 statman

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:09

SL requirements should not be applied to (established and proven) drivers, like those in Indycar.



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#20 ezequiel

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:19

What is Colton Herta's problem? He is behind Marcus Ericcson who did f all in F1. So if he doesn't get enough SCL points it perfectly reflects his F1 capabilities.

But he's ahead of teammate Romain Grosjean who was racing in F1 only a couple of years ago and doing OK. That surely "perfectly reflects his F1 capabilities".



#21 juicy sushi

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:22

from a drivers perspective what is the price difference between a F2 seat and an Indycar seat for a full season? I am guessing the F2 seat is way more expensive? I think this will be the FIAs concern. 

Figures for what it takes to "buy" an Indycar seat vary from $5-8 million US, depending on the team and level of other sponsorship the team already has (it can be less than that, at a lower team).  The budget for a title contending car is generally around $8 million.



#22 absinthedude

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:24

Colton Herta is not the problem. the FIA, in it's own interests, has decided that IndyCar doesn't merit sufficient SL points. 



#23 Risil

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:25

Not Herta related, but it's also weird that Formula E is worth fewer Superlicence points than F2 when FE is where the best F2 drivers tend to end up.



#24 owenmahamilton

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:31

I think Scott McLaughlin is another great case for showing that the way the Super Licence works needs changing. There's no way (I'd have thought) that he would have been able to transfer from Australian Supercars to F1 but his performances in Indycar show he's a great driver in both saloons and open wheelers.



#25 juicy sushi

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:33

Not Herta related, but it's also weird that Formula E is worth fewer Superlicence points than F2 when FE is where the best F2 drivers tend to end up.

This will get increasingly odd as time goes on and the Formula E cars get faster, especially with multiple manufacturers involved in the series.



#26 Afterburner

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:33

What is Colton Herta's problem? He is behind Marcus Ericcson who did f all in F1. So if he doesn't get enough SCL points it perfectly reflects his F1 capabilities.

Tell me you don't watch IndyCar without telling me you don't watch IndyCar?



(The video isn't meant to be against you, by the way–that's here for everyone else's benefit!)

#27 bargeboard

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:36

But he's ahead of teammate Romain Grosjean who was racing in F1 only a couple of years ago and doing OK. That surely "perfectly reflects his F1 capabilities".

 

Is that 36 year old, post-Bahrain crash Grosjean? I have some doubts about his outright speed at this point (to go along with always having some doubts about his racecraft). I don't feel like Colton's been particularly impressive this year, whether that's down to trying to haul a relatively uncompetitive car up the order or something else, who knows. 



#28 Risil

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:38

I think Scott McLaughlin is another great case for showing that the way the Super Licence works needs changing. There's no way (I'd have thought) that he would have been able to transfer from Australian Supercars to F1 but his performances in Indycar show he's a great driver in both saloons and open wheelers.

 

It helped a lot that Penske already knew him well from Supercars as he had won three championships with them. Team Penske put him through a simulator programme, arranged for him to test an Indycar for them long before his debut and were generally able to evaluate him alongside their existing drivers.

 

Racing teams know better than governing bodies about who will succeed and they have a strong interest in doing so.



#29 taran

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:41

Let’s consider the other side of the coin. Pre-SL points, there was a jungle of competing series and drivers were spread out over those series. It was difficult to determine who was really good and who was just a big fish in a tiny pond.

 

Cleaning up the junior categories and creating a simple ladder to F1 was a good thing. Now the truly aspiring drivers were all in the same series and proper comparisons could be made. If you want to get into F1, you know what to do and where to do it.

 

All these complaints are coming from people who’s favourite drivers went a different direction (e.g. Indycar) but they still want to see them in F1. Well, they can, if they are good enough and get enough SL points.



#30 RedRabbit

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:42

Not Herta related, but it's also weird that Formula E is worth fewer Superlicence points than F2 when FE is where the best F2 drivers tend to end up.


That's actually a problem with F2 and having a limit on how many seasons a driver is allowed, and not allowing the champions to defend a title.

#31 HerbieMcQueen

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:46

Tell me you don't watch IndyCar without telling me you don't watch IndyCar?



(The video isn't meant to be against you, by the way–that's here for everyone else's benefit!)

This was indeed amazing to watch, but in the face of such hilarious lack of context, nuance, or knowledge from the poster you were referencing I don't think it'll do much to change minds. I'm more mindful of an 18 year old Herta dominating at COTA in a still unfamiliar-ish car against the best Indycar had to offer. The boy has got it and I hope to look forward to seeing him further learn and develop in F1 in the future.



#32 Jops14

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 14:54

To be honest i think top 5/10 in Indycar should get you enough points, it’s not a finishing school for F1, its a series with too level professional drivers in it. If you can go to Indy and finish around /ahead of Dixon, Power, Newgarden, you’re good enough for F1

#33 noikeee

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 15:00

Drivers should be allowed to "pick" seasons, if you drop 2019 out he's got one.
 
2021 - Indycar - 5th - 8 points
2020 - Indycar - 3rd - 20 points
(2019 - Indycar - 7th - 4 points)
2018 - Indy Lights - 2nd - 12 points


#34 ANF

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 15:05

How do you solve a problem like Colton Herta? As fast as possible, maximum attack, no deliberation.



#35 Anderis

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 15:11

I've always said that the superlicence system is not wrong in principle, it's just too strict. I think the idea was to prevent drivers like Ma Qinghua to get F1 seats because of their sponsors and I think that's OK. It could use additional points for things like winning races or maybe scoring podiums at F2, F3, Indycar etc, so that drivers who show ability to race fast at a high level have an easier time obtaining the superlicence but those who can't even score points regularly in F3 or something can't ever buy their way into F1.



#36 Nemo1965

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 15:14

The whole point of the SL system is to force drivers through the FIA ladder. It was created by Domenicali himself when he was President of the FIA's Single-Seater Commission in 2014.

https://www.autospor...045527/5045527/


And before that JM Balestre did it to discourage drivers to build up their career in the States. I even remember he was lobbying for suspending the license of F1 drivers who competed in Indianapolis... but I can't confirm that. Anyway: I've always seen the superlicense system as a Fia powerplay.

#37 SenorSjon

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 15:24

Not Herta related, but it's also weird that Formula E is worth fewer Superlicence points than F2 when FE is where the best F2 drivers tend to end up.

 

FE has F3 speeds, so not so weird at all. And if F2 doesn't oust the champion, he would defend the title (which should be possible). 

 

Let’s consider the other side of the coin. Pre-SL points, there was a jungle of competing series and drivers were spread out over those series. It was difficult to determine who was really good and who was just a big fish in a tiny pond.

 

Cleaning up the junior categories and creating a simple ladder to F1 was a good thing. Now the truly aspiring drivers were all in the same series and proper comparisons could be made. If you want to get into F1, you know what to do and where to do it.

 

All these complaints are coming from people who’s favourite drivers went a different direction (e.g. Indycar) but they still want to see them in F1. Well, they can, if they are good enough and get enough SL points.

 

Problem is that seats in F1 (10x2), F2 (11x2) and F3 (10x3) are limited and you can't just enter with a team, restricting that availability as well.



#38 Cornholio

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 15:47

 

Drivers should be allowed to "pick" seasons, if you drop 2019 out he's got one.
 
2021 - Indycar - 5th - 8 points
2020 - Indycar - 3rd - 20 points
(2019 - Indycar - 7th - 4 points)
2018 - Indy Lights - 2nd - 12 points

 

 

Wait.... so finishing 2nd in a thin Indy Lights field earns you three times as many points as 7th in an IndyCar field stacked with seasoned pros?

 

Yeah....I'm not against the SL points system in principle but some of the weightings definitely need revisiting.



#39 eibyyz

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 16:03

This was indeed amazing to watch, but in the face of such hilarious lack of context, nuance, or knowledge from the poster you were referencing I don't think it'll do much to change minds. I'm more mindful of an 18 year old Herta dominating at COTA in a still unfamiliar-ish car against the best Indycar had to offer. The boy has got it and I hope to look forward to seeing him further learn and develop in F1 in the future.

 

And when you look at the in-car of Marco Andretti at a wet Belle Isle, 2019 and you wonder why he wasn't immediately ushered into a Merc or Ferrari.  We all know why...



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#40 FLB

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 16:09

And before that JM Balestre did it to discourage drivers to build up their career in the States. I even remember he was lobbying for suspending the license of F1 drivers who competed in Indianapolis... but I can't confirm that. Anyway: I've always seen the superlicense system as a Fia powerplay.

He was. Try looking for stuff from 1984. It's edifying. Balestre was obsessed by CART's existence outside of the FIA.



#41 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 16:16

The SL system is supposed to be a protection against totally unqualified drivers embarrassing the sport by sucking badly and being dangerous.  It shouldn't be a protection against drivers embarrassing the sport by coming in aged 18 with little experience and succeeding immediately, it shouldn't be a protection for F2 and F3 series, and it shouldn't be a protection racket for the benefit of development programs of the big teams.  All such systems should also have explicit mechanism for lifting the requirements on a case-by-case basis for situations where there is obviously no danger of the driver being dangerously unqualified. 

 

Herta is obviously not going to be dangerously unqualified in F1.  He may not do well, but that's his and his team's problem, not the sport's problem.  Plenty of F1 drivers don't perform well enough to retain their seat, there are already established mechanisms for dealing with that.



#42 red stick

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 16:17

Superlicence system is bad: the way series are assigned points is arbitrary and opaque and looks a lot like the FIA picking winners. As the source quoted in that article says, "If he [Herta] gets a licence we might as well all stop investing in F3 and F2." Is that F1 protecting its junior ladder or is it anti-competitive? Is there a difference?

 

If a driver is good enough, where he or she has raced before is irrelevant.

The SL system, much like what Andretti has found about the "franchise" system, just shows that F1 is less a racing series than a cartel.   :well:



#43 FLB

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 16:19

The SL system, much like what Andretti has found about the "franchise" system, just shows that F1 is less a racing series than a cartel.   :well:

Same as most Pro Sports.



#44 Alfisti

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 16:24

The Super License system is no problem in general. The FIA only needs to grade the IndyCar series higher. Because Herta finished twice within the top 5 of the standings, yet he falls short on SL points. Which is ridiculous as the series is the pinnacle of Formula Racing in the America's and should be valued much better than this.

I refuse to believe that ANYONE who qualifies for the Indy 500 doesn't deserve a super license. That is properly scary, the cars are trimmed RIGHT out, you see them get the wobbles at nudging 400kmh with concrete walls everywhere. Will Power is on record saying nothing in the year is anywhere near as sketchy, even 3 or 4 wide on ovals, if you can keep your foot planted at 400kmh with bugger all front wing, you can drive an f1 car. 



#45 pacificquay

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 16:24

Tell me you don't watch IndyCar without telling me you don't watch IndyCar?



(The video isn't meant to be against you, by the way–that's here for everyone else's benefit!)

 

 

I love IndyCar and think Colton's a great talent, but I'm always amused by videos like this being cited as examples of "great car control."

 

Really great car control would be not losing it in the first place!



#46 1player

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 16:29

I love IndyCar and think Colton's a great talent, but I'm always amused by videos like this being cited as examples of "great car control."

 

Really great car control would be not losing it in the first place!

If you're not constantly on the edge of losing your car, you're driving too slow.



#47 LolaB0860

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 16:34

Indycar should be worth as much as F2 for me. Higher level series, faster cars, less directly relevant to F1 - balance it out and offer the same points.

 

F2 is faster than Indycar though

 

(Oval speeds don't count since F2 doesn't have them anyways)


Edited by LolaB0860, 31 August 2022 - 16:35.


#48 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 16:49

Possibly a daft question… but is F1 the only series in the world to require a ‘superlicense’?

Does Rally or MotoGP have anything similar?

#49 PayasYouRace

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 16:50

F2 is faster than Indycar though

 

(Oval speeds don't count since F2 doesn't have them anyways)

Even if that’s the case, F2 is a feeder series, Indycar is a top level series.



#50 juicy sushi

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 16:56

F2 is faster than Indycar though

 

(Oval speeds don't count since F2 doesn't have them anyways)

I don't think it is. Even with the cut from the manufacturer body kit era, Indycars still have more downforce and more horsepower than a GP2 car, even if they are heavier.  Current Super Formula cars seem about 0.5 seconds quicker than an Indycar, and they are much more than that faster than a GP2 car as they have both more power and more downforce for the same weight.