Former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard believes that the German touring car series, DTM, should have a place within the FIA’s Super Licence criteria.
Last year, F1’s governing body changed the qualifying criteria for a Super Licence in reaction to drivers jumping into F1 with minimal experience of junior single-seater formulas.
Drivers wishing to enter the top-tier now will have to have completed a minimum of three-years of junior single-seater experience accumulating at least 40 points from their finishing positions in those championships.
Under these regulations, drivers such as Max Verstappen would not have been eligible for a Super Licence as the 17-year old had only completed one-year in the Formula 3 championship prior to obtaining his Toro Rosso race seat.
The FIA have come under criticism since the release of the criteria, as championships such as Formula Renault 3.5, which housed Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel and Kevin Magnussen before they entered into F1, have been deemed less worth than a Formula 2 series which does not currently exist.
DTM, with drivers such as Pascal Wehrlein and Marco Wittmann, who took part in the recent Austrian in-season F1 test, alongside former F1 drivers such as Timo Glock and Paul Di Resta, hasn’t been included in the qualification criteria at all.
Former DTM driver Coulthard believes that the German series should be included by the FIA and questioned why the yet to be launched Formula 2 series is deemed most worthy.
“I think DTM is a super-professional organisation, like Formula 1, in terms of the set-up, the media that are attracted to it, the sponsors, so it’s a step above all of the other formulas,” the Scot said.
“Of course, it’s a touring car, so some people may go ‘what’s the relevance of that to a single-seater?’, but it’s not an easy touring car to drive.
“It’s got the speed of a Formula 3 car with the downforce it has, so I think it should be looked upon as a different way.
“A championship that doesn’t exist yet, Formula 2, has a greater focus than existing formulas.
“That, to me – and yes, the FIA needs to have vision for what that formula will stand for – does really take the piss out of other championships that are there operating successfully and professionally.
“It’s making sure that drivers are worldly prepared, because a talent is a talent.
“If you can drive well, you’re good enough at the point in which you’re physically able to drive the car.
“But that’s only part of the story. You still have to learn the race craft and how to work within an organisation.”