FIA Scrapes 'Verstappen Rule' And Opens Door For Antonelli

Saturday, 15 June 2024 at 16:00
antonelli kimi panoramic
The FIA (Formula 1's regulatory body) just updated the International Sporting Code, implementing changes that would allow Andrea Kimi Antonelli to enter F1 immediately.
Max Verstappen is the youngest driver ever to race in F1. The Dutchman was only 17 years and 166 days old when he competed in his first F1 race for Toro Rosso (now known as RB).
Putting Verstappen in an F1 car was seen as a very bold move from Red Bull and Toro Rosso (owned by Red Bull) at the time, and not too long after, FIA introduced rules which dictate that drivers needed to be at least 18 years old and have a regular driving license to be allowed to race in F1.
However, this rule has now been changed as FIA published an update to its International Sporting Code, suggesting even 17-year-old drivers may be granted a super license (the license needed to compete in F1:

"The driver must be at least 18 years old at the start of the event of his first F1 competition. At the sole discretion of the FIA, a driver judged to have recently and consistently demonstrated outstanding ability and maturity in single-seater formula car competition may be granted a super license at the age of 17 years old."

The rule about the regular driving license has also been scraped, which means Andrea Kimi Antonelli could be free to join a team in F1 as soon as next race weekend.

Will Antonelli Race In F1 in 2024?

Rumors suggested that Mercedes, in collaboration with Williams, was considering replacing Logan Sargeant with the young super talent.
Williams seems to be the only team that could have a seat for the 17-year-old in 2024. According to some, Antonelli won't be worse than Logan Sargeant, who is making too many mistakes and hasn't scored a single point this year.
But how likely is it to happen? We don't know whether clauses inside Sargeant's contract would permit Williams to remove him 30% into the season. If such changes happen, it tends to be after the summer break.
While Williams might be able to put Antonelli in their second seat already in Barcelona, it would seem like a rushed decision. Moreover, it wasn't confirmed that the British team actually wants to put Antonelli in their seat this season. Do you think it will happen?