Andrea Kimi Antonelli expected to drive Mercedes W13 in F1 amid Lewis Hamilton departure

The departure of Lewis Hamilton has deeply affected Mercedes, leaving behind a significant void that appears extremely challenging to fill. Team principal Toto Wolff has emphasized the gravity of selecting a successor for the 2025 season, indicating that they will take their time with the decision rather than rushing it.

Despite this, there has been considerable speculation linking young talent Andrea Kimi Antonelli to Hamilton’s potential replacements, largely due to his impressive accomplishments at a young age.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli set to drive Mercedes W13

Andrea Kimi Antonelli, at just 17 years old, has been promoted to Formula Two, skipping a whole phase of Formula Three. However, this marks only the beginning of the young talent’s promising journey, as his primary career in the motorsports industry is on the brink of taking centre stage.

Aside from racing in Formula Two, Antonelli will also be driving Mercedes’s legendary W13 to prepare for the Formula 1 season as well. With current cars facing testing restrictions, F1 teams have limited space to enhance new talents.

To tackle this issue, the regulations are permitting cars that are at least two years old for testing, allowing young drivers to accumulate new experience on various tracks, with these costs disregarded from the budget cap. Earlier on, Ferrari and some other teams also often carried out training sessions with two-year-old cars at their Fiorano track, which proved to be quite successful for the Italian-based squad.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli touted to replace Lewis Hamilton

Antonelli’s remarkable achievements have sparked speculation among Formula 1 enthusiasts about the possibility of the Italian driver replacing Lewis Hamilton for the 2025 season. While there are several experienced drivers eager to join Mercedes and gain new experience, team principal Toto Wolff has hinted at the potential of Antonelli becoming the team’s main driver in the near future.

He stated, “It’s clear Kimi has been in our junior academy since he was 11, and we have had great pleasure in watching him grow as a young man and grow through the ranks.”

However, on the other hand, while praising the young talent, Wolff has also expressed conflicting opinions about hiring Antonelli, confusing the fans’ judgement even more by saying, “But I also want to take a little bit of pressure off him. He’s just turned 17. He’s won everything he needed to win in his rookie season, but I think he is going to be in Formula 1.”

Do you think Mercedes will more likely hire Antonelli for the 2025 Formula 1 campaign? Tell us about your opinions in the comment section below.


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