The FIA has received a request to grant Mercedes protege Andrea Kimi Antonelli a super licence so he can make his F1 debut before he turns 18.

F1’s governing body has been asked to allow the 17-year-old Italian, who currently races in Formula 2, to make his grand prix debut before he turns 18.

Antonelli already has the 40 super licence points required to race in F1 but he does not turn 18 until August 25.

The FIA’s International Sporting Code states a driver “must be at least 18 years old at the start of the event of his first F1 competition”.

Under those rules, Antonelli would not be allowed to race in F1 until the Italian Grand Prix in September at the earliest.

However, it has now been widely reported that a request has been made for the FIA to give “special dispensation” for Antonelli to make his F1 debut early.

This is not believed to have come from Mercedes, despite Antonelli being their junior driver and recently completing his first F1 test for the German manufacturer.

There had already been rumours that Antonelli could drive for Williams – one of Mercedes’ customer teams – before the end of the current season.

Given that Alex Albon already holds a contract for next season with Williams, Antonelli would most likely replace Logan Sargeant, whose own deal expires at the end of 2024.

Speaking at the Miami Grand Prix, F1 presenter Will Buxton said: “[Kimi Antonelli] could be making his F1 debut in Imola in a couple of weeks’ time in place of Logan Sargeant.

“Sources appear to be quite reliable on this.

“They will need special dispensation from the FIA to run him as he is underage at 17 years of age.

“But the team have, to my understanding, already applied for that dispensation from the FIA.”