Antonelli could replace Sargeant within 2024 season

Mon, 17 June 2024, 09:31

Jun.17 (GMM) Former F1 team boss Gunther Steiner thinks it’s possible Logan Sargeant could be ousted even before the 2024 season is complete.

The FIA has shown a green-light to teenagers like Kimi Antonelli to make their F1 debuts, nixing a rule that required drivers to be at least 18.

Now, 17-year-olds who have “consistently demonstrated outstanding ability and maturity in single-seater formula car competition” can obtain a super license.

Decisions will be made “at the sole discretion of the FIA,” the FIA added.

The move follows earlier reports that Mercedes-powered Williams had applied to the governing body for special dispensation to allow Antonelli to take part in official F1 track sessions whilst he’s still 17.

The young Italian is hotly tipped to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2025, but Antonelli’s manager Toto Wolff is rumoured to want to give him real-world F1 experience before then.

Williams boss James Vowles, who is close to Wolff, had admitted in Canada recently that the seat currently occupied by Logan Sargeant is in serious doubt.

“We need more from him, really, to be able to save his seat in that sort of circumstance,” he said.

Given the FIA’s new stance on 17-year-olds, immediate free practice outings for Antonelli are now possible – but also possible is that he will step into Sargeant’s shoes for the rest of the season.

“I think he (Sargeant) will have to leave at the end of the year,” former Haas boss Steiner told the Red Flags podcast.

As for a mid-season ousting, he is not so sure.

“First and foremost you try to work with the people you have,” said Steiner. “Of course, at some point enough is enough and people ask themselves ‘Why are we doing this to ourselves?’

“If he experiences a few more races before the summer break like the one in Canada, it could be that another driver will be in his cockpit after the (summer) break.”

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