Antonelli Aims to Follow Verstappen’s Footsteps in True Sporting Spirit

Max Verstappen‘s early success in Formula 1, becoming a three-time world champion after debuting at 16, has paved the way for the next young talent, Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who at 17 is already being considered for a Formula 1 seat, amidst discussions on the appropriate age for drivers to enter the sport.

Highlights

‣ Max Verstappen’s early debut in Formula 1 at the age of 16 marked a significant moment in the sport, leading to a change in regulations requiring drivers to be at least 18 and hold a driving licence to be eligible for a super licence.

‣ Andrea Kimi Antonelli, a 17-year-old Italian racing talent, is on the verge of making his Formula 1 debut, potentially at the age of 18, despite the adjusted age regulations, due to his exceptional performance and accumulation of the required super licence points.

‣ Critics have expressed concerns about young talents entering Formula 1 too early, similar to the skepticism faced by Verstappen; however, industry insiders like Oliver Oakes argue that exceptional talents justify early entries into the sport, emphasizing that maturity and talent can vary significantly among young drivers.


Max Verstappen shattered expectations nearly a decade ago in the world of Formula 1. At just 16, this Dutch prodigy was given a shot at the big leagues. Looking back, Red Bull Racing wouldn’t change a thing. Why? Because Verstappen has clinched the world champion title three times. Now, eyes are on Andrea Kimi Antonelli, a 17-year-old Italian, pegged as the next big thing. Rumor has it, he might just hit the F1 tracks at 18.

Post-Verstappen, the rulebook got a rewrite. Now, you need to be 18 with a driver’s license to even dream of a super license, the golden ticket to F1. Antonelli, still 17, is bypassing Formula 3 for Formula 2. And get this – he’s already in the rumor mill for a Mercedes seat in 2025. Plus, he’s racked up the 40 points needed for that all-important super license.

‘The specials are really special,’ or so they say. Critics argue Antonelli’s leap to F1 is premature, echoing the skepticism Verstappen faced. Oliver Oakes, a former Red Bull Junior Team member and now a big shot at Hitech Grand Prix, begs to differ. “I think the special ones are special,” he told GPblog, hinting at the rare breed of talents who defy norms.

Oakes gets real about the racing world. It’s not cookie-cutter. Some kids, believe it or not, are just wired differently, racing years ahead of their age. Sure, there’s chatter – parents and managers pushing too hard, too fast. But then, there are those young phenoms who just belong, whether it’s in F1, tennis, or even darts, as England’s 17-year-old Luke Littler proves. Talent, it seems, knows no age.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

Related F1 News