Zak Brown of McLaren thinks even Verstappen and Raikkonen would have failed to get a superlicence

Max Verstappen Ferrari

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown believes that FIA needs to rethink the superlicence criteria following Colton Herta’s failure to get one.

Amidst the Alpine-Piastri-McLaren drama, Red Bull was willing to release Pierre Gasly for Alpine. However, they were looking for IndyCar driver Colton Herta as a replacement for the Frenchman at AlphaTauri.

Nevertheless, Herta only has 32 points contrary to the needed 40 to get a Superlicence. Red Bull tried to do their best to pursue FIA to make an exemption. However, the ruling body rejected all the efforts of the team.

This led to Red Bull team advisor Helmut Marko laying some angry comments targeting FIA and its decision.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown also thinks that the current Superlicence system needs an upgrade. He thinks that the IndyCar series is valued less than it should be for calculating the points.

The American motorsports series is put equal to F2 to get 40 points. However, from second place down IndyCar is valued less than F1’s main feeder series even though it is valued more.

“I think the whole licensing system needs to be reviewed,”

he told select media at Laguna Seca’s IndyCar finale.

“I get that the rules are what the rules are and that rules shouldn’t be broken, but I question whether just because those are the rules that are in place now that those are the correct rules.

“Someone of Colton’s caliber, or Pato’s caliber or half the [IndyCar] field are Formula 1 capable. 

“If someone like Colton who’s won a lot of IndyCar races isn’t eligible for a superlicence then I think we need to review the superlicence system.”

Superlicence system needs an upgradation? Brown believes so.

Brown indicated that even World Champions Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen might have failed to obtain a superlicence now. Both Verstappen and Raikkonen entered the sport without coming into Formula 2 making it difficult for them to get a superlicence now.

“I don’t think Max Verstappen would have been eligible for a superlicence. I don’t think Kimi Raikkonen would have been eligible for a superlicence,”

said Brown.

“So, if you go back and look, there are a couple of guys, world champions, who wouldn’t have got their superlicence in today’s environment.”

Herta had a deal with McLaren earlier. It is a possibility that Herta could still be seen in an FP1 session in the coming races.

“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!,”

 Brown added.

“Who we put in depends on track knowledge. Obviously, Pato in Mexico is a scenario.”

Oscar Piastri is still a reserve driver for Alpine although he has signed for McLaren for the 2023 season.

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