Andrea Kimi Antonelli, 2024

F1 rules change gives Antonelli chance to make debut before he turns 18

Formula 1

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Andrea Kimi Antonelli will have a chance to race in Formula 1 before he turns 18 after the FIA changed its requirements for a super licence.

The sport’s governing body confirmed last month it had received a request to consider a change in the rule requiring all F1 super licence holders to be at least 18 years old.

It has now published an update to the International Sporting Code which allows it to grant a dispensation to the age limit.

“The driver must be at least 18 years old at the start of the event of his first F1 competition,” states the rule. “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 licence at the age of 17 years old.”

The FIA has also scrapped the rule which required super licence holders to “be the holder of a valid driving licence when he applies for a super licence for the first time.” The minimum driving age limit in Italy is 18.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Imola, 2024
Feature: A Verstappen-grade talent to replace Hamilton? Assessing Antonelli’s potential
Antonelli, Mercedes’ junior driver who is under consideration to take the seat Lewis Hamilton will vacate at the end of the year, is currently racing in Formula 2. Mercedes confirmed it had not sought a rules change for Antonelli, prompting speculation the request to the FIA to amend the regulations came from another team.

Williams is thought to be a likely destination for Antonelli. The Mercedes customer team is run by their former strategist James Vowles, who already knows Antonelli well. While Alexander Albon is locked into a multi-year deal, his team mate Logan Sargeant has struggled to impress since arriving in F1 last year.

If Antonelli gains the FIA’s approval, he could make his F1 debut at any time before he turns 18 on August 25th, as he has already fulfilled the requirement to score at least 40 superlicence points.

The FIA introduced the 18 year age limit on Formula 1 drivers after Red Bull promoted Max Verstappen into the series with its junior team Toro Rosso (now RB) in 2015.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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111 comments on “F1 rules change gives Antonelli chance to make debut before he turns 18”

  1. Mercedes to switch from a team of champions to a team of wannabes. It’s fair to say they currently got no juniors worthy of a seat, why not go with Dorian Pin if for a marketing coup.

    1. Very strange comment – Antonelli is very highly rated, much alike a certain young Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton…?

      1. i hardly watch F2, but looking at the standings I don’t see him whipping the floor with everybody there. is he in a bad car?

        1. Prema have had a bad start to the season, to be sure. Ollie Bearman is Antonelli’s teammate, didn’t disgrace himself when subbing for Sainz in Jeddah, and has had an equally poor outing in F2 this year.

          1. notagrumpyfan
            14th June 2024, 16:55

            De Vries had a very good F1 outing at Williams on top of an F2 title.
            We’re still waiting for summer after swallowing that.

          2. LOL, Bearman missed an event to sub for Sainz, giving up a pole position start to do so.
            Prema is the best team on the grid, and Antonelli hasn’t shown anything special at this level.

        2. Never judge a driver by the standings, judge them by their driving.

          1. In a spec series judge them by their standing.

          2. I agree, standings even in F2, often don’t tell the full story. However, if a driver isn’t in the top 10 after a full season, there is something wrong. I doubt that will be the case for Kimi.

            But, like most, the only thing the FIA super license system should be doing is keeping out drivers like Mazepin who achieved nothing (18th in F2). It should not be telling us that the best drivers from an actual professional series like IndyCar are not worthy of a super license or that age has something to do with the ability to be fast and safe.

        3. As Max in the begin Kimi is slowly bringing himself up to speed.

          1. I think Kimi is great and ready to replace Logan, but Verstappen would have gotten points in his debut F1 race had his engine not Renault’d itself. Instead he got his first points in the second race.

          2. Max slowly? Max was so impressive in karting and F3 he skipped F2 altogether…

          3. Also disagree with verstappen slowly bringing himself up to speed, he was a rocket from the get go.

          4. Coventry Climax
            14th June 2024, 19:18

            Kimi is retired.
            The italian youngster you’re referring to is named Andrea first, Antonelli last.
            Then Kimi is just his second name, certainly not italian, given in honour of the original.
            Used here and elsewhere solely because of it’s commercial/click-bait value.

          5. No, used everywhere, because that is the name Kimi himself prefers people use. You don’t get a vote in the matter.

        4. “I openly admit to not watching F2 and knowing what I’m talking about, but here is my opinion anyway” lol.

          I’m taking the Mickey somewhat, it’s good you’re honest and you’re sincerely asking for clarity from those in the know, but the amount of time you see this similar worse kind of infuriating comment…

          Everyone who actually passionately and genuinely follows various junior racing categories, both fans and actual experts whose job is talent scouting, all understand and agree that he’s the real deal.

          Everyone who keeps coming out of the woodwork to be like ‘seems overhyped’ seem to all share one crucial thing on common, the obvious fact that they’re not watching him.

          Its almost like those actually qualified to give an informed opinion are right in this or any matter haha.

          He’s the real deal

          Source? Because I said so, and I actually watch his races.

          Yet to meet anyone who takes a serious feeder category interest regurgitate the ‘waaa Toto is unhinged he’s overhyped’ monumental nonsense.

          1. where do i give my opinion?

    2. You comment does not make sense to me. Antonelli has been impressive through his carrier so far.

      The beginning of his first F2 season hasn’t been great, but same for his teammate Bearman who is in his second F2 season. Which lead to the belief that it’s more Prema that has been struggling with this year new F2 car. Anyway, other drivers have been skipping F2 altogether (Kimi, Max…), so why not.

      Honestly, he can’t be worse than Sargent who’s still crashing at every opportunity – I don’t see any downside to put him in the Williams straight away and see what’s what.

      1. Absolutely, sargeant is probably worse than all other drivers in f1 in recent years except mazepin, the likelihood of antonelli being any worse is very low, and it makes sense to bring up bearman, who did a respectable job in only his race at ferrari, which is a higher pressure environment compared to williams.

        1. @esploratore1 Although if he debuted during the season, he could do even worse than Sargeant, given his limited readiness, which would unnecessarily hold back Williams for the remaining season against their closest rivals in the WCC battle.

      2. So if bearman can perform decently in f1, so should antonelli.

      3. in his only race at ferrari*

  2. If a child prodigy is performing violin solos at 5 years old then we acknowledge and encourage that child.
    We should have this attitude in all walks of life.

    Rules and regulations are usually written down by control freaks who are terrified of anything unexpected.

    1. That’s not the modern conception and now people are urged to be more cautious. History is littered with forgotten child prodigies. Over specialisaiton and success as a very young child doesn’t automatically equate to future success. Motorsport is a bit different because it’s so exclusive, thus success early on can generate the vital revenue required to progress (or be a symptom of prior wealth), but in more general terms this isn’t how major sporting bodies go about things. If you look at FA literature it very much encourages young players to do other sports and no over burden them with competition.

      I so think the rules were incorrect however, purely from a financial standpoint. They basically force younger drivers to spend multiple years in cars, which for a lot of them is economically impossible. One thing that many overlook with regard to Max is how little he had to spend racing cars before getting into F1 Vs what would be required today. They also forced drivers down the specific system the FIA wanted and thus inflated costs for series that had the most points on offer. Imagine what the dominant teams can charge in F2 and F3.

    2. Totally pointless rule, this age limit.

      1. Well not totally. While I agree there is no real difference between 17 years and 364 days and 18, if there is no limit at all what is to stop a team from putting a 15 year old behind the wheel? A 12 year old? You have to draw the line somewhere, and 18 is as good a line as any.

        1. Agreed. I don’t think we want to see 15-16 years old kids in an F1 car, prodigy or not. So there must be a limit; which logically should be 18…

          I also understand the need to have a bit of flexibility and be able to request some small derogation if the driver is less than 1 year of that limit. In this case, we are basically talking about authorizing Antonelli to be in an F1 car 2 months ahead… No big fuss in my opinion.

          More interestingly: does this mean that his arrival at Williams is imminent ? If not, the whole process is pointless. Exiting stuff… Was happy that Logan got a second chance, but he’s blowing it – too many good driver are on the sideline to waste that seat…

        2. A 12 year old will never drive be able to drive an F1 car, but basically if we need to create a minimum age for the sake of the driver’s mental health, it should be 16 at most. When you’re treated like an adult, you become mature much more quickly than kids who are treated like children even in high school. Once upon a time, you’d have been four years into your trade by the age of 18. I don’t want to return to those days, but pretending a 16 year old can’t be mature enough to participate in what is a game aka a sport, that just happens to be on wheels is ridiculous. We’ve had many teen prodigies in motorsports over the years and none have turned into dangers.

      2. greasemonkey
        14th June 2024, 20:08

        It is not pointless, and I’m not sure I agree with this age even in F2.

        It is safety, decision making with respect to human development, decision making with respect to human life experience, and liability issue.

        This rule should not be considered a talent filter. It is an everything-else filter. The stuff that kept Herta out (points, etc) is the talent filter….which is also broken….Herta should have been let in. I know a few months doesn’t really matter, but that line is that line for a reason. As soon as everything is soft and squishy, a 17 year old pay driver ends up killing someone on a bad decision.

        We’ll get to watch this driver soon enough. One more year won’t kill anyone. It could save someone.

    3. That is why i say if he can keep the car on track and is fast then he is old enough.

    4. Coventry Climax
      14th June 2024, 18:20

      If a child prodigy plays violin solo’s at age 5, he/she’s still driven to the concert halls by adults.
      How many of those ‘miracle kids’ have actually made it into big time recognition and worldwide fame? For those that didn’t, is that beacause they turned out to be not so ‘miracle’ after all, or because of lack of coaching and support and learning the ropes of the music industry? We don’t expect society to change rules or turn a blind eye for a -any- kid that’s good at something.

      But still: I have no issues with youngsters getting into motorracing before they turn 18, 16, 12 or whatever. I thought the FiA introducing the age limit changes and super licence points requirement at the time, was quite ridiculous already. The ‘original Kimi’ came into F1 at an age where a lot of people had doubts, but he did rather well, I should say. Max Verstappen too. The FiA rules were practically invented just to prevent another Max from happening again.
      So what I do have problems with, is the FiA changing colors as frequently as a traffic light, only not regularly, but to a timing completely of their own liking. I dislike the FiA displaying a sickening need to get their fingers on and make a mark on absolutely anything that comes along.

      It took them how many years again, to figure out how ‘Search and replace’ works, to get their handbooks written in gender neutral language? And now, when it suits them, the alter the rules on the fly, just because Mercedes asks them and complain they otherwise have a problem, having to wait just two months more?
      I have a problem with the FiA saying no to some and yes to others, without any consistency or rather, for obscure reasons and just because and whenever it suits them (probably $$).

      I’m amazed people still take the FiA serious. They’re a joke, have only themselves to blame for it, yet fail to recognise it.

    5. If the 5yr old makes a mistake, that violin doesn’t become a 200mph one ton ballistic missile in a venue hosting a hundred thousand people, with a hundred million dollars of competitive equipment surrounding it.

  3. This is what rules are for. To change them so they don’t bother your business strategy.

  4. Ah Mercedes and their problematic influence over the FIA.

    1. They did nothing as Toto made clear in Miami.

    2. All the big teams have influence over the FIA (Ferrari, Mercedes and RBR, not surprisingly have the most). It’d be odd if the FIA wasn’t open to hearing common sense appeals from F1 teams in the first place.

  5. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    14th June 2024, 13:14

    I feel bad for this guy because for the hype that Mercedes has made about him and the doors being opened to advance his entry to F1 if he doesn’t do well – or even just has a mediocre start, he’s going to get eaten alive. At least let him do better in F2 before you throw him to the wolves, it’s not like time’s against him. What’s the rush?

    1. He won’t. The F1 broadcasters coddle rookies. So, they’ll spin even a mediocre debut (as in the first quarter of the season) and give enough context that they won’t be eaten alive, unless “the media” = nobodies on Twitter. Also, he’s older than Max and will be roughly the same age as many, many other highly touted rookies when he first takes to the track.

      And, while I really dislike Toto, he was never hyping him. It was just clear he’s been keeping a seat open for him, which inevitably led journalists incessantly asking about him, but never did he once say “Kimi is going to be F1’s next super star.” He did the opposite, but people keep characterizing his responses which are usually like “he’s very young, let’s see how he goes in F2” as he’s “HYPING HIM!”

  6. Was there not a other rule a driver has to have his driverslicense? Which he only can have at 18…

    1. Yes and I think that’s mentioned too and has been abolished.

      It’s an even sillier rule given there’s no connection between driving a road car safely on a public road and a single seater car on a race track.

    2. Muricans can get their driving license at 16 afaik.

      1. Moi indeed, while 17 is the minimum in the UK & Germany, at least.

      2. Indeed. Every single person I know got their license at 16. They have been changing the age in some places – mostly certain cities and states with lots of large metro areas. But, generally, the age is still 16. You can’t really get anywhere in ‘Murica without a DL, so it’d be a real bane to raise the age.

  7. Saw this coming the instant the rule was introduced.

  8. I don’t think the FIA should be relaxing the rules just to please one team. What next 16 year olds? 15 year olds. Madness. If you cannot hold a drivers license in the country of your birth, you should not be able to drive an F1 car.

    Personally I don’t want to see a group of teenagers performing in F1. I am sure Kimi shows lots of promise but why not give him another year in F2. What do they think is going to happen? Who else would he join.

    1. I don’t think there’s a problem with teenagers racing if they’re good enough. If anything, the problem is that there are too FEW opportunities for up-and-coming drivers.

      Mercedes and Williams are both required to let a young driver driver for them in practice sessions, and Antonelli has done enough in their young driver program that it would be a shame if he couldn’t do that.

      What troubles me is that the established teams brought in the age limit recently to make it harder for Red Bull to offer opportunities to young drivers as they had for Verstappen / Alguersuari / Kvyat – and now they’re changing that rule (and removing another) as soon as it benefits them.

      Exhibit B is the treatment of Mercedes’ request for rule changes vs Andretti’s (see other article).

    2. Coventry Climax
      14th June 2024, 18:32

      I don’t care what age they get into the sports – if they’re good, they’re good. I don’t care if they have a driver’s licence to use on the public roads. If they win at the circuits consistently, they’re better than others, and will rise to the surface without problems.

      But I don’t want to hear the word ‘road relevance’ anymore then, thank you.
      What’s the slogan going to be? “Mercedes road cars: Even a 10 year old can ride them safely”?
      That’s the same for any public transport, actually.

    3. @phil-f1-21 Pleasing a single team isn’t the purpose at all, especially since that particular team didn’t even ask for any of this.

      1. I agree with 99% of your opinions, but please stop saying this. It was utterly clear what they wanted. And we don’t know what was said behind closed doors, but even if nothing, their desire couldn’t have been clearer.

        The rule is ridiculous either way. As we’ve seen repeated ad nauseam, if you’re fast enough, you’re good enough.

        1. Nick T. “The dispensation was something that wasn’t brought up by us and we have certainly stated from the beginning that that was not something we have pursued.”
          “I don’t know where this belief comes from that Mercedes was keen on pushing that forward.”
          – Try & contradict this remark from the Miami GP weekend, & having some or some form of age limit is definitely justified rather than ridiculous.

          1. Yes. You’ve posted that quote before. It proves nothing. I think we’ve all lost count of the number of times F1 TPs and spokespeople have made denials everyone rolled their eyes out and later were shown to not have been true.

            And I am not asserting that Toto was the one to submit a request or even that he hinted he wanted this to happen. If Kimi and his management submitted a request for a waiver/exception, the very fact that the FIA would know Toto would be in favor of this, is enough to have influenced their decision.

            Anyway, the denial that Mercedes’ and Toto’s interests, just like any other F1 team, could influence the FIA’s decision is a truly bizarre hill to die on.

  9. Typical opportunistic adhoc behavior from the FIA both when they introduced the rule and now when they abandon it.

    How can you take any rules or ruling of the FIA serious either as a team or a fan when most of what goes on is politically or financially motivated.

  10. This is just too funny. We all know the rule was only implemented to calm people down, but still, not a good look for the FIA (and Mercedes + Williams). Now I’m not against a young driver that seems extremely promising in his last junior series formula, but Antonelli hasn’t really shown to be better than average in Formula 2. I think a lot of people expected a Hamilton kind of 2006 GP2 season from the lad, but he isn’t on that level yet. It looks like he is still getting to grips with the more professional atmosphere and faster cars of Formula 2.

    So I do not inderstand why they would fasttrack his career into F1. Formula 4 and Formula Regional aren’t exactly the best benchmarks, surely not as much as European Formula 3 used to be. The cars may be similar on speed (although FR cars are much heavier), it doesn’t seem as professional and it also doesn’t seem to attract the best drivers, who are nore likely to be found in current Formula 3.

    If I were Antonelli’s management, I wouldn’t let him jump in mid season. He might p/likely will struggle against Albon. His current F2 season is the first time in his carreer he is not fighting for the championship, but is a solid midfielder. I think he’d learn a lot of if he finishes this F2 season, especially mentally.

    1. Does it give you pause that the vast majority of experts think differently?

      Almost everyone who saw Bearman race in the Ferrari said it was a great drive and we should see Bearman in F1 in 2025. But in your book Bearman is average or below average.

      I would guess (in your defense) that you haven’t been following F2 this year and are just looking at the standings.

      1. I have seen all races. So there is that. Have you really seen he’s better than the rest? I have not seen a performance that screams ‘put him in a Williams already’. And that’s logical as the jump from FR to F2 is quite a big one.

        Bearman had already done a full F3 and F2 season, he is far more experienced that Kimi is. Bearman also did quite some sim work for Ferrari.

        I’m not saying Antonelli doesn’t have F1 potential, I’m saying it is not the ideal moment to jump to F1. The Williams is a difficult car, plus he still seems to be on a learning curve in F2. Why not slowly let him develop during this season and allow him to ‘bend the curve’, instead of jumping to F1 and take a gigantic risk. People seem to take it for granted he will immediatly keep up will Albon. I don’t see that happening.

        Plus let’s not forget that Bearman also wasn’t exactly on course of winning the race. He did what he needed to do, and that was amazing giving the circumstances, but it’s not that he has shown he belongs in F1, then you need to make a bigger step.

      2. Also, it is funny how you accuse me of scoreboard opinions, while Bearman was on course for very good results in Jeddah, while Antonelli surely wasn’t. Bearman’s pole was ‘nulliefied’ when Ferrari called, but he was in much better form than Antonelli was that weekend.

    2. Not sure how you can say that when he has been one of the fastest despite having vastly less experience than his competition, which includes drivers who did multiple full F3 and F2 seasons. It’d be like saying “Lando was generally faster over a full race than Piastri in his first year. The guy is just average.”

  11. But Antonelli is turning 18 in August 2024, right ? So what is the point of all this discussion ? Is Mercedes hinting at leaving HAM without a seat before the summer break ? Otherwise the title here is biased and is trying to create a debate and even hinting some influence by Mercedes on this rule change that makes no sense.

    1. I suppose we are more talking about replacing Sargent without further delay and prepare Antonelli has much as possible for a Merc 2025 seat.

      1. Which makes total sense, every race that goes by he’s proving people who say he should be out of f1 more and more right.

        1. Replacing Logan with Kimi ASAP meets F1’s bar for “in the interest of safety.” He’s more likely to cause a dangerous accident than a sprinke of gravel on the track, which has triggered red flags under the Wittich regime.

      2. That’s plausible. They could also be looking at running him in practice soon. They need to run *some* young driver – why not the one they’re interested in?

        1. Riccard Practice running doesn’t require a standard super license, meaning doing so is okay even before turning 18 anyway.

          1. Practice running doesn’t require a standard super license, meaning doing so is okay even before turning 18 anyway

            Plus, you can now get a full Super Licence at 17, but you still can’t compete until you are 18

            I’m wondering whether they meant to re-write it as they did, or whether it’s one of their usual muck-ups

          2. SteveP But the whole thing is about being able to ‘compete’ before turning 18 if super license gets granted, which has been pointed out by Keith & co.

          3. SteveP But the whole thing is about being able to ‘compete’ before turning 18 if super license gets granted, which has been pointed out by Keith & co.

            Wrongly pointed out by Keith & Co
            The FIA gave themselves the power to grant a Super Licence at age 17, but they didn’t remove the restriction on competing
            Nothing in the para that allows “absolute discretion” overrides the first sentence of 13.1.2

      3. Is Williams prepared to do that though? They have major upgrade packages for the rest of the season and need experienced drivers to evaluate the upgrades. For the rest of 2024 and all off 2025 they would be looking for an experienced driver with feedback capabilities, not with a forced upon them rookie.

        Williams would be looking for someone of the likes of Bottas or Sainz.

        One driver that Williams might be interested in is Lawson who comes with 6 years experience developing the four Red Bull cars through simulation and testing (plus a not to shabby six F1 races). Thinking back to the DTM, Lawson would regularly be ahead and faster than his Ferrari team mate, Albon.

        1. Kimi couldn’t crash as much as Logan if he tried. Also, why would they help develop an RB junior when they’re technical partners with Mercedes. They’re getting special treatment from Mercedes going forward and helping RBR is definitely not part of that partnership.

          Besides, talk about a guy with a horrible F2 CV. Liam, in his second year of F2, couldn’t even outscore F2 rookie Logan Sargeant and we’ve seen how bad he is.*

          *he was actually a single point ahead of LS.

          1. Lawson is able to forgo the RB contract if he does not get a RB seat in 2025. He is on the market and able to go directly to Williams without being “lent out” by RB and on call to Red Bull. He will be a free agent without one of the four Red Bull seats.

            Problem for Red Bull not Lawson. Huge amount of development information to bring across (6 years worth). Just what Williams need.

  12. So not only does Mercedes seem able to dictate which drivers a “rival” team fields, it also has the pull to get the FIA-wide rules changed because it can’t be bothered to wait a mere two months?

    I’m all for being critical of Red Bull having an unfair advantage thanks to its ownership of two “separate” teams, but Mercedes seems to have an undue amount of influence as well.

    1. They don’t dictate anything nor did they even ask for age requirement changes in the first place.

      1. So if Antonelli ends up in a Williams before he turns 18 we’re all supposed to pretend it’s one big coincidence? Really?

        Who else is interested in getting a 17-year-old a Superlicense. Note that it’s this exact stipulation that’s being changed, not the points, not anything else. Is it… Ferrari? No. McLaren? No. Aston Martin? No. Haas? No. Sauber? No. RB1 and RB2? No and no.

        1. MichaelN I’m merely referring to Toto making things clear in Miami that they haven’t asked for dispensation, not to mention James Vowles made clear in Imola that no driver changes will happen during the season.

          1. Yes – 2nd (or 3rd, or 4th I’ve lost count) you’ve said this

          2. True, but I’ve made the point in several different threads because people are hell-bent to contradict what relevant individuals have said publicly.

          3. So they say. What happens is frequently something else. And something that is planned one month might not be the preferred option the next. We’ll see. But it’s not just by chance that reporters are making these connections. Nobody is out there saying Antonelli is a surprise replacement for Hamilton at Ferrari. It’s possible to make educated guesses as to what’s going on.

          4. Of course Toto said he hadn’t asked. It wouldn’t make sense for him to admit it. We all already know that everything he says is for the benefit of his team and it doesn’t matter whether it’s actually true or not.

  13. By “dictate” do you mean “we will give you a lot of money if you let our driver drive your car”?

  14. But the door remains closed for Andretti.

    1. But the door remains closed for Andretti.

      No, they’re both quite a bit over 18 and Michael wasn’t particularly good when he was in F1, but if either can find a team willing to sponsor them to take part in lower formulas and accumulate 40 points to qualify for a Super licence and then a team with a spare seat he can have another go at driving not very well.

      1. Yes, and while Michael does that, F1 should absolutely try to get a few 15-year-olds into cars.

    2. What does Andretti have to do with this? I’ve hated how they’ve been treated, but bringing up something that has nothing to do with the other doesn’t help their case. You can’t compare an exception being made for a small driver to an entry and once again I disagreed with them rejecting them. Better to point out Herta’s rejection if you want to expose a double standard in how they treat American series, drivers, etc.

      1. The situation with Andretti vs bringing in a 17-year-old into F1 simply shows that genuine and proven racing experience for decades counts for absolutely nothing these days. The Andretti heritage even works against them.

        Herta’s rejection is another F1 double standard which deserves to be mentioned as well and I agree with you on that.

  15. Stephen Taylor
    14th June 2024, 16:25

    Keith you need to word things more accurately rulebook correctly it is for a Free Practice Super Licence only . The change does not mean Antonelli can make his race debut early.

    1. The regulations have been changed in regards to both super licences and free practice licenses.

      1. Stephen Taylor
        14th June 2024, 18:06

        Not according to the document I read via the FIA website dated 6 June 2024 which I assume is up to date and the document the article refers to otherwise you are referring to a document which you have seen but is not publicly accessible . Why would the FIA update regs twice 5 days? The document clearly stated the exemption for 17 year olds would be for Free Practice only . You must have misread. The bigger change is removal of the need road going drivers licence . If the 6 June 2024 document is the right document the media are are not reporting this with . Based on the words I read Antonelli cannot make his race debut before Monza when he will have turned 18 but can can participate in a FP session before

        This is what I read from the document dated 6 June 2024 concerning the relevant article of the the FIA ISC.
        13.2.32 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 Free Practice Only Super Licence at the age of 17 years old.

        1. The latest update to this appendix was 11 June.

          1. The latest update to this appendix was 11 June.

            Indeed it was Will, but both Stephen and I are quoting from the FIA document text – and they retained the “The driver must be at least 18 years old at the start of his first F1 competition”.

            Missed their opportunity to do their much publicised gender-neutral work on that one, as well as not actually changing the earliest age you can compete.

    2. Interesting

      13.1 Qualifications for full Super Licence
      13.1.1 The driver must be the holder of a current FIA International Grade A licence.

      Deleted this:
      13.1.2 The driver must be the holder of a valid driving licence when he applies for a Super Licence for the first time.

      Renumbering 13.1.3 as 13.1.2 – emphasised because this bit is important:
      13.1.2 The driver must be at least 18 years old at the start of the event of his first F1 competition.

      and then adding this as a continuance part of 13.1.2:
      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 Licence at the age of 17 years old.

      and then unchanged but renumbered
      13.1.3 a) The first time he applies for a Super Licence or whenever he applies for a Super Licence under 13.1.6 c), the driver must successfully complete a question session regarding the most important points of the International Sporting Code and of the F1 Sporting Regulations

      Whatever the FIA may have intended to say, what they actually said is that you can have a super licence at the age of 17, but you still have to be 18 at the start of the event of your first F1 competition.

      Oh, and the 40 points requirement still exists, unchanged.

      Having made a lot of noise about making the rulebook non-gender specific there’s a lot of “his” in the text that could be replaced with “their” if the FIA ever learn how to do search and replace on a document.

      1. Coventry Climax
        14th June 2024, 18:56

        Haha, search and replace? No, they’ll never learn that. They’ll hire personnel for that, with skills requirements for the job set at contradictory terms, most likely.

        As to what the FiA might have intended: That sounds similar to them issueing ‘technical directives’, telling the teams where exactly the did not read the rulebook as they had intended. Back when I went to school, saying ‘But I intended to..’ just did not ever count.
        By the way, the term ‘Technical Directive’ is a complete laugh, when it just means “We’ve proven again and again to be utterly incapable of wording rules to how we intended them and/or we ourselves were, at the time, not completely sure of what it was exactly, that we intended, yet we still blame others for reading our rules exactly like we put them to paper originally.”

  16. notagrumpyfan
    14th June 2024, 17:03

    This is a good rule change for Sainz.
    We will know sooner rather than later if Kimi impresses enough at Williams.

    PS even if he impresses like Verstappen did, I’d let him mature a couple of years in an engine partner team (which some belief is not like a B team)

    1. Stephen Taylor
      14th June 2024, 19:20

      Sainz is not going to Mercedes pal.

  17. Regarding Antonelli, I think the furore surrounding him will be to his detriment. I’ve watched Max, Lewis, Sebastian come up through the ranks and the media attention to their careers was 5% of this. Even for Lewis going to McLaren, who were expected to be challengers.

    I think the Bearman comparisons are fairly weak to be honest. That was a driver knowingly attending one event, finding out about it on the Friday. This can only be for Kimi to replace Sergeant at Williams. That means, he’s auditioning for one of the most sought after seats in F1 with half a season at tracks he’s never visited, in a car he’s never seen. Much like Tsunoda, I think another full season in the junior categories would be in order.

    Finally, the rule was never worth the paper it was written on. Much like the race ban penalties, it’s there as a negotiating tactic as oppose to a law. I’m not fan of changing rules on the fly, to suit commercial interests of individual parties.

    1. Hamilton had a lot of hype. True, social media wasn’t as big as it is now back then, but Lewis had a ton of hype. Sky and F1TV coddle rookies. So, that will help a lot. He’ll be 18 by the time he makes his debut, if in fact he does this season. And expectations will be lower at Williams. So, while there will be added pressure, talent will tell. The pressure hasn’t hurt him in F2 so far. And yes I know F1 is a whole different ballgame.

      1. From what I remember about the Hamilton hype, it was surrounding him driving for Spyker. In early 2006, Montoya was still considered to be the man for 2007, despite his very average 2005 season and Motocross accident. Once he had been replaced the rumour mill was whether Abbey National would want 2 Spanish drivers in De La Rosa and Alonso.

        Hamilton wasn’t confirmed until November and the expectation was that McLaren would struggle in 2007 to adapt to the bridestones. This doesn’t at all mean that Hamilton wasn’t highly rated – of course he was. But I think the print media and ITV interviews from around the time were hoping for another solid British driver – they’d been burned hard from the Button hype in 2000.

        By March 2007, post Australia, the hype was insane. I remember F1 Racing had a cover with ‘already the best’ in April. But that was with a preseason and a GP2 title, particularly with the Turkey race, behind him. If I compare the June 2006 hype to the 2024 hype, my impression is that most people believe that Kimi is Max V2 and a guaranteed success story – which I don’t think was the consensus with Hamilton in June 06.

        1. By March 2007, post Australia, the hype was insane. I remember F1 Racing had a cover with ‘already the best’ in April. But that was with a preseason and a GP2 title, particularly with the Turkey race, behind him. If I compare the June 2006 hype to the 2024 hype, my impression is that most people believe that Kimi is Max V2 and a guaranteed success story – which I don’t think was the consensus with Hamilton in June 06.

          Back then I didn’t see the hype, not in papers I didn’t read and not in social media that was pretty non-existent.
          What I did see was a collection of races (at some strange time of night IIRC) in which Lewis often surprised commentators and sometimes had both viewers and commentators wide-eyed amazed.

          The difference between then and now is this electronic “global village” where the words of wise men and fools are equally spread.

        2. José Lopes da Silva
          15th June 2024, 9:21

          Correct. There was no Hamilton hype before his debut.
          Moreover, I believe Ron Dennis itself was not getting Hamilton thinking he would challenge Alonso. Alonso had just been hired as a double champion replacement for Raikkonen, so there was no point bringing an equivalent driver to create mayhem in the team. Dennis would never want to repeat the 1989 shenanigans. Hamilton’s performances just exceeded everyone’s expectations and moderate hype.

  18. Seriously? FIA should’ve had the guts to say no, given no justifiable reason exists for exemption, especially since Mercedes hadn’t even asked for a dispensation.
    At least, they altered the requirements altogether in a way that gives the same equal opportunity for everyone rather than treating a single driver differently, which would cause double standards, meaning anyone who reaches 40 license points before turning 18 can apply for a super license if they succeed to demonstrate ability & maturity, as well as removed the road drivers’ license requirement, which is now unfitting for most drivers, given 18 is the minimum in most countries.
    The best outcome would be to scrap the entire points system altogether, with this altered caveated minimum age requirement alongside rule theory studying, & 300 km minimum F1 car driving at proper racing speeds as the sole requirements.

    1. but they still can’t compete until they are 18 – the first line of the new 13.1.2 is unchanged text.

      1. SteveP As pointed out by others in these articles, the alteration applies to competing in F1.

        1. Stephen Taylor
          14th June 2024, 19:22

          Incorrect the alteration is drivers of 17 don’t need a road licence and in exceptional circumstances can be be granted a Free Practice super licence . This article doesn’t accurately quote the regulation.

    2. Coventry Climax
      14th June 2024, 19:11

      At least, they altered the requirements altogether in a way that gives the same equal opportunity for everyone rather than treating a single driver differently, which would cause double standards..

      That, unfortunately, is not true. They themselves write in their rules that it is at the sole discretion of the FiA to decide on things. Meaning: as they see fit.

      That’s the FiA rulebook in a nutshell actually:
      “We write a lot of things here, but basically just decide as we see fit. We’ll tell you by means of directives, whenever we see fit and feel we should interfere with the course of the championship. No rights can be claimed from what we’ve written anyway, as we preserve the right to change anything, any time, at our own discretion.”

      And there’s a lesson here for the FiA as well: See? It’s not hard at all to write a rule book that’s gender neutral!

      1. Judging a 17-year-old’s (with at least 40 license points) eligibility for granting before turning 18 based on ability in lower single-seaters & F1 car handling at proper racing speeds is easy, but precisely judging maturity level is difficult, so they need to be careful in this regard, not to end up arbitrarily deciding who’s ready for a super license based on maturity level.

  19. But God forbid regs flexible enough for Herta to get a seat!

    1. Apples to oranges

    2. Antonelli has the points and a record of success.
      Herta did not. All he had was being 18+.

  20. Perfect example of how rules can be bent made or changed in exceptional circumstances.

    Rubbish to say they couldn’t have nor can’t now just do the same for penalties from unavoidable damage. They will lean on “we can’t be because the rules say so” but then when they want to change to provide an outcome, no problems!

  21. Not really thought he was going to take F1 by storm, but will take there word he will. But as a rookie he will crash, so can Williams really afford that as he learns the trade

  22. “Antonelli has the points and a record of success.” – among kids in junior series.
    Herta was racing against some of the best racing drivers in the world at that time.

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