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Williams Quashes Speculation on Antonelli Replacing Sargeant at Imola Amidst Rising Rumors

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Williams refutes claims that their prodigy from Mercedes, Andrea Kimi Antonelli, will take over Logan Sargeant's spot in the Imola race.

Williams has refuted speculations suggesting that Mercedes protégé Andrea Kimi Antonelli is set to take over Logan Sargeant's seat for the upcoming Formula 1 race.

Rumors about Antonelli being accelerated into a Formula 1 position before the year's end intensified during the Miami Grand Prix, following revelations that the FIA had been approached with a proposal to allow the 17-year-old to compete prior to his 18th birthday in August.

The identity of the team that approached F1's regulatory authority remains undisclosed, yet it's speculated that Williams, a client team of Mercedes, was behind the initiative.

Discussions have emerged suggesting that Sargeant, facing the challenge of improving his performance to secure his position with Williams for the upcoming season, might be substituted at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola, which is scheduled to take place in a fortnight.

However, James Vowles, the team principal for Williams, asserts that such an event will not occur

"Vowles clarified on F1 TV that despite circulating speculation, he will not be driving at Imola as previously suggested."

Nonetheless, Vowles acknowledged that Williams is currently assessing potential teammates for Alex Albon for the year 2025 and onwards.

"Currently, we're in the process of assessing potential drivers for the 2025 and 2026 seasons. Our goal is to secure an optimal duo of drivers for those years. This is crucial, especially during a period of regulatory changes, as it's not ideal to switch drivers then. So, our focus is on finding the perfect match for that timeframe," he further explained.

Undoubtedly, he possesses significant talent, but it's important to remember he was behind the wheel of an F4 vehicle just 20 months back. That's his current level of experience, which significantly differs from many others. Currently, we are in discussions with four or five other drivers for that duration.

"I'm content to take a step back and be patient. More importantly, I feel it's my obligation to enhance the speed of this car because Alex has the caliber of a championship driver. We need to supply him with the appropriate vehicle to support him, which we haven't done so far. Doing this usually opens up additional opportunities down the line."

Regarding the proposal to include Antonelli, a representative from the FIA stated: "We've acknowledged the proposal and are currently examining it. However, there's a specific procedure that must be adhered to, involving the approval and consensus of various individuals and committees, as it necessitates altering the regulations."

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