JULY 31, 2002
We have been hearing in recent weeks of moves to restrict the access for young drivers in Formula 1 by forcing them to go through the International Formula 3000 series. This is expected to be discussed by the F1 Commission before the next meeting of the FIA World Council. The move would, of course, bolster Formula 3000 grids which have been falling because of the excessive costs of the series.
It is unlikely that there will be a blanket ban on drivers jumping straight into F1 from Formula 3 as many of the great drivers have done that in the past, notably Nelson Piquet, Alan Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and others. However insisting that drivers compete in F3000 means that top drivers from the American series, notably CART, would be unable to go straight into F1. This would be foolish given that F1 wishes to expand in the United States.
We would therefore anticipate a rule which allows the F1 Commission leeway to agree to a Superlicence for any driver if it his candidature is proposed to them. This would, in effect, be the same as the current legislation.
We hear, incidentally, that the German Formula 3 series is to merge with the French series next year but we are also hearing stories of a new European Formula 3 Cup which would also provide a good launch pad for young talents.
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