With today’s change on superlicenses, Max Verstappen will likely hold youngest start record for good

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Max Verstappen, the 17-year-old who will debut for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2015, will set a record by nearly two years as the youngest driver to have ever started a Grand Prix once he goes from the lights out at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix.

He’ll eclipse the mark set by another STR driver, Jaime Alguersuari, at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.

And Verstappen will likely have the record for good, with today’s update on FIA superlicense requirements as revealed following the World Motor Sport Council meeting in Doha, Qatar.

All drivers for 2016 will need to be at least 18 years old. So unless a younger 17-year-old debuts later in 2015, Verstappen will have his first place in the Formula One record books for a long time.

Here’s the official update from the FIA:

1- Safety criteria

The following changes have been made compared to the current regulations:

  • There is a valid driving licence requirement.
  • There is a minimum age requirement (18yo).
  • There is a verification of knowledge of the F1 Sporting Regulations/ISC rules.

2- Experience criteria

With the following changes compared to the current regulations:

  • There is the 300km in F1 TCC or TPC_ as a minimum requirement.
  • There is a 2 years minimum running in minor Formulas.

3- Performance criteria

With the following changes compared to the current regulations:

  • ¬†There is a point system requirement, based on the driver results in previous Formulas.

Verstappen’s promotion has been the subject of some consternation throughout the year. But there’s also the argument that if you’re ready, you’re ready, regardless of age.

We shall see how Verstappen delivers in his rookie season next year.