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Wolff shares latest on Antonelli’s F1 prospects after FIA tweak Super Licence regulations

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BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 20: Andrea Kimi Antonelli of Italy and Mercedes looks on in the Paddock

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has given his take on the FIA’s recent decision to alter the sport’s Super Licence regulations which, in theory, means highly rated youngster Kimi Antonelli can now make his Formula 1 debut.

Previously, the rules stated that in order to obtain either a Friday practice Super Licence or a Super Licence to compete in a Grand Prix, a driver needed to be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driving licence.

READ MORE: How a rule tweak could allow Antonelli to make his F1 race weekend debut as early as the Spanish Grand Prix

However, the clause that necessitated a valid driving licence has now been removed, with a new line added that states “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”.

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Wolff has been keeping a close eye on Antonelli as the youngster balances racing in F2 with F1 testing

As such, there is nothing stopping Antonelli, who is 17 and will turn 18 in August, being promoted to the top echelon, should the opportunity arise.

Asked for his reaction to the changes ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, Wolff said: “The president of the FIA always had the ability and discretion of letting a driver drive, if you believe that the performance was good enough.

READ MORE: Allison says Mercedes junior Antonelli ‘looks like the real deal’ as he assesses recent F1 test runs

“I think the change of regulations isn’t [about] Antonelli, it is generally to make sure that drivers with the right pedigree, CVs, success and maturity are able to race in F1, rather than a birth date. I think that was the right decision.”

Antonelli is currently racing through his rookie season in F2, sitting sixth in the drivers’ standings after five rounds, and has also completed several tests in F1 machinery with Mercedes in recent months.

Toto Wolff addresses Kimi Antonelli reports after the FIA tweaks the Super Licence rules

Wolff, though, refused to be drawn on when the Italian might make his official Grand Prix weekend debut – be that via a Friday practice run or in a race seat.

“Whatever that means for Kimi… We’re leaving the second seat [alongside George Russell] open for the moment, we don’t want to take a decision,” Wolff went on to comment of the Silver Arrows’ thinking for 2025.

READ MORE: Verstappen offers advice to Mercedes junior Antonelli while Russell assesses his prospects as a possible future team mate

“He’s doing a great job in testing with us in F1, he’s good in F2 – the team mate [Ferrari-backed Oliver Bearman] is the benchmark. So yeah, we’re observing.”

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