Hamilton's Potential Replacement Kimi Antonelli To Attend His First F1 Test

Wednesday, 03 April 2024 at 01:45
antonelli kimi andrea mercedes media
Mercedes academy junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli will have his first test in a Mercedes F1 car on April 16th.
Toto Wolff once missed out on a young and very promising talented driver because he had Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg signed with long-term contracts and couldn't offer him a future in his team soon enough.
Could you guess who this driver was? Indeed, it was Max Verstappen who is now the triple World Champion. The German team principal wanted to learn from his mistakes, and now that he has another talented driver in his hands, he does not want to lose him again.
Andrea Kimi Antonelli is only 17 years old, but he has shown incredible performances in his career so far, winning almost every single championship that he has attended.
He skipped the F3 Championship to go straight into F2, driving for one of the best teams - Prema Racing. With the seven-time world champion leaving Mercedes at the end of 2024, he is a serious candidate for the seat alongside George Russell.
Wolff sees huge potential in the young Italian driver and consequently prepared a series of F1 car tests that Antonelli will attend simultaneously while competing in F2.
The 17-year-old's first test will take place in Austria on 16 April, and he will have the chance to drive Mercedes' 2021 title-contending car, the W12.
It is an interesting choice because current regulations allow teams to let their drivers test cars from the 2022 season, which was the beginning of the ground effect era.
These cars are much more similar in terms of handling to the cars that we see on the grid today compared to the ones from 2021.
However, as mentioned before, Antonelli will have multiple tests, so he will most probably also drive the W13 (2022 model) later on.