Potential Lewis Hamilton replacement’s first words after maiden F1 test

Andrea Kimi Antonelli has given his reaction to his first time in an F1 car.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli in action for Mercedes in Austria
Andrea Kimi Antonelli in action for Mercedes in Austria

Mercedes protege Andrea Kimi Antonelli has described his first time in an F1 car as an “incredible experience” as he prepares for a possible debut next year.

Antonelli is thought to be the frontrunner to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2025.

The 17-year-old Italian is widely regarded as the most exciting prospect outside of F1, with Mercedes contemplating putting him straight into their team after just one year in FIA Formula 2.

Antonelli is viewed as Mercedes’ own Max Verstappen-like prospect and 2025 would give him a year to bed in ahead of the new regulations.

He was in action for Mercedes at the Red Bull Ring over the past two days, driving the W12 from 2021.

Antonelli completed 500 kilometres across the two days - approximately 115 laps of the Austrian circuit.

“It’s been an incredible experience, it was really great to feel the power and downforce,” he said after his first F1 test.

“I loved every second of it. It was really good fun and I want to thank all the team for all their hard work

“We did some sim work and ran through some important things ahead of the day.

“That was really useful because once I was out on track, I knew what the team was telling me on the radio.

“I have learned a lot in these two days, things which will be really helpful when I go back to F2.

“But I need to keep working, and keep improving too.” 

Antonelli currently sits ninth in the F2 standings with 24 points.

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