Russell Shares His View On FIA's Change Of Rules That Opens Door For Antonelli

Friday, 21 June 2024 at 14:00
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Mercedes driver George Russell discussed the FIA's latest decision to change the minimum age at which a driver can compete in F1.
Although Toto Wolff claimed multiple times that Andrea Kimi Antonelli needs to focus on his F2 season at the moment and that Mercedes doesn't want to rush him, the German team asked FIA for an exemption from the rule a while ago, suggesting otherwise.
On the 15th of June, FIA responded and updated its international sporting code, which now states that even 17-year-old drivers can be allowed to compete in F1 if they have recently and consistently demonstrated outstanding ability and maturity in single-seater formula cars.
This change could potentially open the Italian youngster door at Williams this season, where he was rumored to replace Logan Sargeant. Although nothing has been confirmed so far, it remains a possibility.
Mercedes F1 driver George Russell, who could potentially be Antonelli's teammate in 2025 shared his opinion on the change of rules ahead of the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix:

"I think for sure every driver is different. And I think when you look back at Max, if you take Kimi as an example now, I think these guys have a really great team around them; Kimi with the Mercedes team, all of the preparation, the testing he's doing."

"Max was in a really fortunate position with his father as an ex-F1 driver and knowing what it takes to get there. You saw Ollie Bearman, the job he did at Saudi, thrown in the deep end, and he did a great job. So, you know, everybody's different. I think it depends on the individual."

Verstappen is still the youngest driver to have ever raced in F1. He started his career with Toro Rosso (now known as RB) when he was only 17 years and 166 days old.
When FIA later introduced the rule that only drivers 18 years old or older can race in F1, it was thought no one would ever be able to break this record.
Now that FIA changed their rules, it might be done, although Antonelli is already older, so he wouldn't be the youngest F1 driver ever even if he started tomorrow.