LONDON, England - Formula 1 will impose a minimum age limit of 18 from 2016, the sport's governing body said on Wednesday (Dec 3). It's a change that would have kept Dutch teenager Max Verstappen off the track in 2015.
SAVED BY THE BELL? Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen can thank his lucky stars the new age limit rule will only be implemented as of 2016 or else he would not be racing for the team right now. Image: Red Bull
Verstappen was signed by the Toro Rosso team while still only 16 and turned 17 in September 2014. He will become the youngest F1 driver yet when he makes his debut in Australia in March 2015
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His Spanish team mate Carlos Sainz, son of the former World Rally champion who shares the same given name, is only 20 in what will be the youngest driver line-up the sport has seen.
The governing International Automobile Federation said after a meeting of its World Motor Sport Council in Doha, Qatar, that new rules would apply to awarding the mandatory superlicence.
They included the driver having a valid regular driving licence, something Verstappen was still too young to obtain, being over 18, and demonstrating knowledge of the sporting regulations.Drivers must also have spent at least two years in minor racing formulas, a clause that would have denied Finland's 2007 F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen his debut with Sauber in 2001, and have accrued points from that experience.
Considering these youngsters have been driving since they were four or five, why do they now need a road licence before they get a superlicence? Unfair or not? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts or use the Readers' Comments section below...