The truth about if Mercedes wonderkid Kimi Antonelli may replace Lewis Hamilton

Kimi Antonelli, 17, recently blitzed his F2 rivals in a test in wet conditions to hint at his brilliance

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

Andrea Kimi Antonelli, the teenage starlet within Mercedes ranks, has been mentioned as a future F1 driver.

His chance could come much earlier than expected if he’s picked to replace Lewis Hamilton, who is going to Ferrari next year.

Toto Wolff has hinted at a “bold” choice to put alongside George Russell in 2025 - but Antonelli might be a step too far.

“Kimi has been with Mercedes since he was 11,” Wolff said.

“He's been in the junior programme and his career was very successful. I think most important at that stage is he focuses on F2.

“If we start to spin his mind or unleash rumours that’s not going to help his F2 campaign.

“He’s just stepped out of karts a few years ago. He’s not even 18.

“I would rather not start any speculation about Kimi going into F1 at this stage.”

Antonelli is still just 17 years old but is tipped for a bright future.

He will skip Formula 3 and move straight into racing full-time in Formula 2 this season.

Recently, every F2 driver was testing F3 cars in wet conditions and Antonelli blitzed his rivals by being faster by whole seconds, Motorsport Magazine report.

Wolff has previously said about him: “We got Kimi under the wings in 2012 and he was a great kid already then. You could see the character [and] he was strong. We had him in the garage and there was a lot of confidence.

“In go-karting his track record was immense and then you put him in the junior formulas and he wins every single season in his rookie year.

“ But we’ve got to be careful because there’s a lot of hype around him.

“Putting him into F2 is a big step because those cars are heavier and much more powerful.

“If we give him his time, and don’t expect him to be killing it in his first season, I think he can be a really great one in this sport. He’s 17 – this is so young.”

If Antonelli can live up to the potential, then Mercedes might have their very own Max Verstappen-esque wonderkid.

Can they resist putting him in their car to replace Hamilton eventually?

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