Licenses, driver changes and additional drivers

What the sporting regulations say:

  • Teams may use up to four drivers during a season, all of whom may score points in the championship.
  • However, all drivers must possess an FIA Super Licence to compete in Formula 1 racing. To obtain that licence, they must be 18 years or older and meet strict performance standards.
  • Drivers must have accumulated 40 points over a three-year period, with points allocation based on which other motorsport series they have participated in and the level of results they achieved.
  • Drivers who qualify for a Super Licence but are then unable to secure an F1 racing seat get a three-year grace period in which their points are valid.
  • As well as securing enough points, drivers will have also have to have spent at least two years in junior single-seater categories, hold a valid road driver’s licence and pass a test on the Formula 1 sporting regulations. They must also have completed 300 kilometres of testing in a recent F1 car before they can appear at an event.
  • On a race weekend, a team may make a driver change with the permission of the stewards any time before the start of qualifying. The new driver must use the engine and tyres allocated to the original driver.
  • On top of this, in each of Friday’s two practice sessions teams may run up to two additional drivers, although each team is still limited to two cars. Such drivers must hold at least a Free Practice Only Super License, the requirements for which are slightly less stringent than for a full Super License.
  • If a team intends to run additional driver(s), stewards must be informed of its plans before the end of initial scrutineering on the Thursday prior to practice.