Thursday February 8th, 2001
Kimi Raikkonen should not have been given a super-licence to compete in Formula One this season, Max Mosley, chairman of motor sport's ruling body FIA believes, and the whole licensing system needs an overhaul.
The 21-year-old Finn, who has competed in just 23 single-seater races in his career, is "on probation" for the early part of a season starting in Australia on March 4 when he makes his debut for Sauber.
"It is known that I am the one who voted against (Raikkonen) having a super-licence. Everyone else voted in favour," Mosley said in an interview with Australian Grand Prix organisers.
"I would say that ... probably our super-licence system is in need of an overhaul because there are very clear rules about how you get a super-licence - you have to have won a Formula Three championship or you have to have had certain success in Formula 3000 - it's all very clear."
Mosley said the "exception rule" was there to allow - in exceptional circumstances - drivers with great Formula One experience to make a comeback in the sport, as happened with former champion Alain Prost.
"That was the reason for the exception, and the exception is now used in Raikkonen's case to give him a licence.
"There is no question that he is obviously a very, very good driver and ... he will have done about 4,000 kilometres in a Formula One car before he gets to Melbourne.
"On top of that he is on probation for the first, I think it's three or four races. But it did seem to me that if you have criteria, you should follow them.
"Having said all of that, I think he will do a very good job and I'm confident that he will be quite safe and probably very successful."