Rosberg Shares His Opinion On Mercedes' Prodigy Kimi Antonelli

Tuesday, 14 May 2024 at 10:00
antonelli kimi panoramic
2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg discussed Mercedes' junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli and his potential future in F1.
While he hasn't had a single practice session during the official F1 calendar and still "only" competes in F2, you might already be quite familiar with Andrea Kimi Antonelli.
Antonelli is a 17-year-old Italian driver who has become popular mostly over the period of the last 12 months. However, there is a reason for why he did.
Antonelli has a very impressive record in the junior series he has attended so far. He has won pretty much every single series in which he has completed a full season.
The 17-year-old won the Italian F4 Championship, the ADAC Formula 4 Championship, the FIA Motorsport Games Formula 4 Cup, the Formula Regional Middle East Championship, and the Formula Regional European Championship.
This year, Mercedes allowed him to skip F3 to race in F2. The German team also prepared a series of testing sessions for the youngster with older generations of their cars.
Even though he is only 17, Toto Wolff sees Antonelli as a serious contender for the second seat in Mercedes alongside George Russell.
It is understood that if Max Verstappen stayed with Red Bull, Wolff's priority would be Antonelli. But isn't it too early for him? Nico Rosberg thinks so, as he told Sky Sports:

"Antonelli is definitely a superstar of the future but unfortunately timing-wise it's really too early for him, and especially too early for Toto to be able to make a decision on Antonelli."

Antonelli showed huge promise in the lower junior series, but F2 is where he needs to really show he can adapt, make progress, and become competitive very fast. The 2016 Champion added:

"He needs to wait until somewhat later in the year as we see how Antonelli does in F2 also, because he does need a really strong season in F2 to make it a possibility for him to go straight to Mercedes. Otherwise, if anything, some time at Williams or a team like that would make sense."