FIA Makes Super License Amendment Change That Could See Drivers Under 18 to Enter F1

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The FIA have changed amendment to their sporting code allow drivers under the age of 18 to receive a super license, and therefore race in F1, if they have demonstrated outstanding ability.

In order to race in Formula 1, every driver must hold a super license. This is designed to ensure that everyone competing in the sport is up to a high enough standard to be competitive.

Changes had been made to the super license back in 2015, amid Max Verstappen’s promotion to F1 with Torro Rosso, with concerns having been raised about his age given that he made his debut at just 17 years old. Since then, there has been a minimum age requirement of 18 for drivers hoping to receive a super license.

Now the International Sporting Code has been amended in order to allow exceptions to this rule. Whilst the age requirement still remains in place, a driver under the age of 18 can now receive a super license if they have demonstrated that they have the ability and maturity required through their performances in junior formula series.

Section 13.1 of Appendix L to the International Sporting Code now reads:

“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 licence at the age of 17 years old.”

This appears to massively benefit Mercedes-backed Formula 2 driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli. The Italian has been touted as one of the hottest prospects within the world of motorsport in years, having skipped Formula 3 entirely before making his Formula 2 debut earlier this year.

Antonelli has also been linked with moves to Mercedes to replace the outgoing Lewis Hamilton for 2025, and there had been rumours of him potentially signing for Williams given Sargeant’s underwhelming run of results this season.

Under the previous rules, Antonelli would not have been eligible for a super license until 25th August, when he turns 18, despite holding enough points to earn one.

Even if there were no immediate plans for Antonelli to receive a full time seat for the rest of this season, obtaining a super license will allow him to participate in FP1 sessions, with Mercedes having already given him private testing in some older machinery to help him prepare for Formula 1.