Mercedes is eyeing the talented star to break into F1 as a potential replacement for Hamilton

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is planning for Mercedes’ long-term future with young driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli considered a potential star.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are both under contract until the end of 2025, a testament to the team’s commitment to the current squad, but Wolff is keen to nurture the talent at the Silver Arrows academy and create the conditions for them to develop.

Teenager Antonelli is only 17 years old but has been part of the Mercedes program since 2019 and is one of many prospects capable of a successful career.

He won the Italian F4 championship in 2022 and also claimed the European Formula Region championship title with Prema Racing this year.

The next step could be a move to Formula 2, skipping Formula 3 altogether. Wolf:
“We don’t want to burn it”

However, Wolff wants to avoid putting too much pressure on his shoulders.

“As for my life principles, I don’t want to flirt if my marriage is happy, it only creates chaos,” Wolff told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We have a strong couple who we trust, [they] were positive with the team even when the car was very bad.”

“So we’ve never talked to anyone else. There are fast and exciting drivers, there’s no doubt about that. But we focus on ourselves. And about our future men. Antonelli, for example, is a very talented Italian rider in whom we invested.

“He’s won everything in F4, is leading the Formula Regional championship and has shown he’s really strong, which is great to see. But we don’t want to put too much pressure on for him.” “Let’s finish the work of 2023, then we will see what to do next year according to the agreement with his family which is very balanced.

“Andrea is only 17 years old, we don’t want to burn him down, we have to let him grow up. We have to do things calmly.”

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