Zak Brown has questioned the Formula 1 Super License system and calls for the FIA to conduct a review of the current rules.
The comments come after Colton Herta’s link to a seat at AlphaTauri fell through due to a lack of Super License points for the American driver.
Speaking to media at the Indycar season finale at Laguna Seca, Brown said: “I get that rules are what rules are and they shouldn’t be broken, but I question whether just because those are the rules that in place now, those are the correct rules.
“Someone of Colton’s or Pato’s [O’Ward] Calibre or half of the ‘IndyCar’ field are Formula 1 capable. If someone like Colton who’s won a lot of IndyCar races isn’t eligible for a Super License, then I think we need to review the Super License system.”
Brown also makes the argument that F1 champions such as Kimi Raikonnen and Max Verstappen wouldn’t have qualified for a Super License when they made their debuts.
With 506 starts, 52 wins and 2 championships between them in F1, Verstappen would have had 15 points at the time of his debut with Toro Rosso in 2015.
Raikonnen would have had around 18 when he first appeared on the grid with Red Bull Sauber in 2001.
In Herta’s current case, he would have 32 points from his last three Indycar seasons where he finished third, fifth and 10th respectively.
“I don’t think Max Verstappen would have been eligible for a Super License, I don’t think Kimi Raikonnen would have been eligible for a Super License,” Brown added.
“If you go back and look, there are a couple of guys, world champions who wouldn’t have got their super license in today’s environment.
When asked if Herta could be linked to a seat at McLaren, Brown stated: “I would not rule Colton out but anything we do is going to be in the best interest of McLaren as opposed to helping out AlphaTauri.”
I disagree with Brown’s view. Last time I looked, Marcus Ericsson was leading the left-turn championship, and he was little better than Latifi in Formula One terms. To be hoped he doesn’t actually win the thing, that would be a terrible indictment of American drivers. In any case, it indicates that half the field certainly aren’t Formula One capable. He is very keen to compare Herta to Verstappen and Raikkonen, but just a couple of weeks ago, when he had a vacancy to fill at his own team, he went for Oscar Piastri, proven in the feeder series which tour with Formula One. So why didn’t he sign up the American to replace Ricciardo? I think Brown gives us the answer in the last couple of lines, “…anything we do will be in the best interests of McLaren…” He knows damn well that Herta hasn’t done anything like sufficient to prove that he is good enough.
On a side note, it looks like the McLaren chef has had to keep prodding Brown away from the counter with a bargepole to prevent the team boss eating all the doughnuts.
Why didn’t he sign the American? Because he doesn’t have the superlicense points – that’s the whole point of the article, he couldn’t if he wanted to.
Which driver is better? We may never know.
If he truly thought that Herta is as good as he claims, he would have been asking the FIA to make an exemption, the way Marko has, because Herta was already part of the McLaren fold. He made no attempt whatsoever, because he knew Herta hasn’t shown he can hack it in Formula One, whereas Piastri has given a big indication that he is ready.
What Brown means by saying today environments?did he mean change the Bible because we are in 2022? Rules are rules till it has been revisited. So Brown pls stay put and get some trophies then open your mouth
Zak is absolutely right. Stuff like this just makes F1 look stupid, something it seems to be making a habit of at the moment. Ridiculous engine penalties, nonsense about safety cars, now silly rules about drivers. Someone needs to grab hold of the tiller smartish.
Ill be honest I still cant sit through an Indy race with all those commercials. Its completely unwatchable. So I dont know Herta so well outside the highlight reels. But bringing in an unqualified driver just for demographic money is exactly the kind of thing the super license is supposed to prevent, isnt it? Money over talent? Yeah. That cost us Piastri this year already while Zhou has only just held on. Id take the amply qualified DeVries over Hooligan Herta all day. Who cares where theyre from. Its just dumb. And the FIA has more important things to fix than super license points.
Lets not forget about Sebastian Bourdais’ crazy successful run in Champcar. Then moving to F1 and being mediocre at best!