Mercedes have announced the line-up for their junior drivers for the 2022 season as the hunt for the next Lewis Hamilton continues.
Hamilton is level with the legendary Michael Schumacher having seven world titles to his name. The Brit has won 103 races and the Silver Arrows are hoping one of their junior drivers will have what it takes to rival Hamilton’s successes in the future.
When speaking about the junior drivers, Toto Wolff said:
“It’s going to be a really exciting year for our junior drivers and we’re delighted to welcome them to our W13 launch on Friday as part of our motorsport family.”
Wolff added that among the “familiar faces” there will be “several new members”. He is excited to see how the newcomers will “develop in their first season with [them]”.
There are seven junior drivers in total for Mercedes.
Andrea Kimi Antonelli:
Antonelli, born in Bologna, Italy, joined the F1 junior programme of Mercedes back in 2019. His competitive racing career began in 2014 with numerous victories including: FIA Karting European Championship, the WSK Euro Series and the FIA European Championship title.
He will be joining Italian Formula 4, full-time, and will race with PREMA.
Aron is another returning face to the programme for 2022. He joined the same year as Antonelli, mid-way through the season. He has previously raced in Italian Formula 4 and ADAC. Aron progressed to the Formula Regional European Championship, which is where he will continue to race this season with PREMA.
After a positive season in 2021, Cui joined the junior squad. The Chinese racer, son of a racing driving, began his professional racing car in 2014 when he was only six-years-old.
Cui raced in the OK Junior class with Kart Republic, but he will step up to OK this season.
Born in Miami, but a native of Jamaica, Powell made his karting debut in 2015. Powell joined the junior programme in April 2019. Winning the ROK Cup Superfinal and 24 South Garda Winter Cup are just a couple of his successes.
With a veteran rally driver for a father, racing is in his blood. After racing in the OK Junior class last year, Powell will move up to OK full-time.
Vesti joined the Silver Arrows junior programme ahead of the 2021 season. He has been racing since he was eight-years-old and has achieved a lot in his career so far. Vesti won back-to-back Danish Karting Championships in 2013 and 2014, as well winning the WSK Final Cup in KFJ in 2015.
Vesti will move up to Formula 2 for 2022 with ART Grand Prix after racing in F3 for the past to years.
2022 will be Fluxa’s first season in Mercedes’ junior programme after her impressive seasons racing in karts. Fluxa is the first female to join the programme. In 2021, she mainly focused on winning the IAME Euro Series and competing in the 60 Mini category.
The Spanish-British karter will continue to compete in karts this season, racing in the OK Junior class.
Guinchard joins Fluxa as a newcomer to the junior programme. 2021 was a very successful breakthrough season for the Brit. He won three championships: the British Championship, the Ultimate Karting Championship and the British Kartmasters Grand Prix in Rotax Junior.
This year Guinchard will move up single-seaters racing in the British F4 series for Argenti.