The road to Formula One is an arduous one. Aside from all the problems that arise if you don't have enough talent or money, there's the increasingly difficult problem of choosing the right feeder series. The tried and tested routes into the top tier of international single-seater motorsport no longer apply, as the field is littered with likely contenders.
It's a problem, and it's one that the FIA have acknowledged and are trying to fix.
Gerhard Berger, former F1 driver and team owner and now president of the FIA's single-seater commission, has been working to clarify the path to Formula One and has taken the decision to begin by working on what he calls the "urgent" problem of Formula 3.
"The most urgent thing is to sort out Formula 3," Berger told the FIA's In Motion magazine. "For me this has always been the most important class for young drivers. That is where you can really see for the first time how much talent someone has.
"Nowadays there are so many championships, even inside Formula 3 itself. There are national championships holding races outside their own countries and each series has different regulations. Some countries have championships that are not very strong, with only eight or ten cars and others have A, B and C classes, and so on. And you have different engine rules as well. It is not Formula 3 as we knew it.
"That is the area we are starting to deal with and the first thing I did was to introduce a new FIA European Formula 3 Championship. This is not popular with everyone because there are a lot of vested interests, but I don't care about that. We need to start with a new platform and that is the new championship."
It is heartening to hear that Berger is not afraid of causing upset in his efforts to reform the F1 career ladder, as it will be impossible to redefine what is currently a very chaotic system without stepping on a few toes.
But it is vital to the long-term interests of motorsport that talented drivers are given the opportunity to progress through a clearly sign-posted collection of feeder series into the top tier, whatever their racing specialty.
This is where Formula One suffers as a result of its popularity. With so many dreamers out there hoping for a career in F1, an awful lot of junior categories have sprung up - often without any realistic chance of progression into one of the more accepted feeder championships such as GP2 or WSR - and it's making it more of a challenge for talent-spotters.
"I find that the pyramid at the moment is very loose: there are too many championships out there and attention between them is split too much," Berger explained. "People are complaining that the best drivers are now all spread out and so you cannot look at the British Formula 3 Championship, for example, are say that he is certain to get to Formula One.
"These days the best drivers are all over the place: one in Formula 3, one in GP3, one in Formula Renault and one in Formula Abarth. The system no longer does what it is supposed to do, which is to give a highly talented driver a CV he can use to progress to Formula One."