Max Verstappen takes aim at rule which currently prevents Kimi Antonelli F1 debut

Red Bull's Max Verstappen hits out at the FIA's superlicence system to enter F1.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Sprint
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6,…

Max Verstappen has criticised the FIA’s rule which currently blocks Mercedes protege Andrea Kimi Antonelli from making his F1 debut.

F1’s governing body the FIA introduced a stricter points system after Verstappen made his grand prix debut at the age of 17 years and 166 days in 2015, having made the jump straight from Formula 3.

Now, drivers must accumulate 40 points, be 18 years old, and have completed at least 80% of two full seasons in single-seaters in order to be granted a superlicence.

Last year, IndyCar race winner Colton Herta was denied a superlicence request from Red Bull.

It emerged over last week’s Miami Grand Prix that a request has been lodged with the FIA for Antonelli to be granted an F1 superlicence so he could potentially make his grand prix debut before he turns 18 in August.

Three-time world champion Verstappen has made it clear he is not a fan of the current FIA system.

“That rule was introduced because of me, of course,” the Red Bull driver said in Miami. “In the end, it doesn’t stop what it’s meant for.

“It’s not specifically about him [Antonelli], but this can stop some talents from getting into Formula 1 quickly because they have to accumulate those 40 points first.

“I’m not a big fan of it – of this entire system. The FIA thinks it’s good, but I’d rather not have it. If someone is 17 or 18 years old and maybe has 20 points, but if he is very fast, why can’t he get into Formula 1 then?”

There had been rumours that Antonelli, who is currently competing in Formula 2 having skipped F3, could be fast-tracked into F1 in time for this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

However, Williams denied speculation they will replace Logan Sargeant, who is under pressure to keep his seat, at the next race at Imola. 

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