Toto Wolff doubts raised over ‘risky’ Lewis Hamilton replacement at Mercedes

Doubts have been raised about whether Toto Wolff will gamble with Mercedes' replacement for Lewis Hamilton.

Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director…

F1 commentator Alex Jacques is unsure whether Toto Wolff will opt for Mercedes wonderkid Andrea Kimi Antonelli as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton in 2025.

Mercedes have a big decision to make after Hamilton decided to switch to Ferrari from next season.

A number of options are available to Mercedes, including Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz, Alex Albon and Esteban Ocon.

Their junior driver, Kimi Antonelli, is set to drive in FIA Formula 2 with Prema this season.

The young Italian has been mooted as a potential option if Mercedes want to go “bold” as they look for their own Max Verstappen.

Jacques, who also commentates on F2, doubts Wolff will put Antonelli straight into a top team.

“Antonelli would have to completely dominate the championship to have a chance of starting the 2025 season in that Mercedes team,” Jacques told the Feeder Series Podcast.

“I just don’t see Wolff putting someone, no matter how good they are, in that situation.”

Andrea Kimi Antonelli
Andrea Kimi Antonelli

If Antonelli does succeed in F2, a couple of years at Williams could be a possibility.

George Russell spent three years at Grove before making the move up as a replacement for Valtteri Bottas.

“[Wolff] does not strike me as a team principal who would take that sort of risk, and no matter how talented a driver is, it is easier to do a [Charles] Leclerc in a Sauber, a Russell in a Williams,” he added.

“Whether it be a World Champion, a race winner, or a hotshot talent. You need something to lift that team.

“That’s either going to have to be a massive name of huge calibre or a mega talent, but I still don’t see Antonelli starting [the season with Mercedes].”

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