Williams deny that Mercedes wonderkid will replace Logan Sargeant at Imola

Williams have rubbished talk that Andrea Kimi Antonelli will replace Logan Sargeant at Imola.

Antonelli recently tested Mercedes F1 machinery
Antonelli recently tested Mercedes F1 machinery

Williams have denied rumours that Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli will replace Logan Sargeant at the next F1 race.

Speculation about Antonelli being fast-tracked into an F1 seat before the end of the year ramped up at the Miami Grand Prix when it emerged that the FIA has received a request to run the 17-year-old before his 18th birthday in August.

It is not known which team submitted the request to F1’s governing body, but it is believed to have been instigated by Williams, a customer team of Mercedes.

This led to talk that Sargeant, who is under pressure to turnaround his form in order to retain his Williams seat for next season, could be replaced at the upcoming Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola in two weeks’ time.

But Williams team principal James Vowles insists that will not happen.

"There was a rumour going around that he'll be in the car from Imola - he won't be in the car for Imola," Vowles told F1 TV.

Logan Sargeant (USA) Williams Racing. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Sprint
Logan Sargeant (USA) Williams Racing. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6,…

However, Vowles admitted Williams are in the process of evaluating who will partner Alex Albon in 2025 and beyond.

"What we're doing at the moment is evaluating drivers for 2026 and 2025, and what we really want is the right driver pairing for those two years as when you go through a regulation changes you don't want to be changing drivers, so you're looking for the right pairing for that period of time,” he added.

"There's no doubt that he's got huge skill to him, but he was in a F4 car 20 months ago, that's where he is, it's a very different proposition to most. We've been talking to four or five drivers at the moment for that period of time.

"I'm quite happy to sit back a little bit and wait, more so than that, I have a duty and responsibility to make this car faster first, because Alex is a championship level driver, we've got to provide the right car for him to be behind him and we haven't yet, and then that typically unlocks other possibilities in the future.”

On the request to field Antonelli, an FIA spokesperson said: “We have received this request, and we are looking into it. But there's a process to be followed and multiple people/commissions required to vote and agree to it as it requires a rule change.”

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