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Jakub Porzycki

Wolff ‘happy and keen’ to see Antonelli take to the track for maiden F1 test

Kimi Antonelli has become a top contender for the vacant Mercedes seat after excelling in the junior series

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Kimi Antonelli is set to test Mercedes machinery later in April, with Toto Wolff expressing how ‘proud’ he is to see the junior in an F1 car. 

Antonelli set to test Mercedes machinery on April 16th. Photo credits: Joe Portlock via Getty Images
Antonelli set to test Mercedes machinery on April 16th. Photo credits: Joe Portlock via Getty Images

Andrea Kimi Antonelli has been a hot topic in the F1 paddock this season. After the news of Lewis Hamilton’s departure from Mercedes and joining Ferrari in 2025, leaving one of the most valuable seats on the F1 grid is up for grabs.

Many names have been thrown into the debate of who will partner alongside George Russell, Max Verstappen, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso are just some of the notable names, however, the most anticipated name has been, F2 rookie, Antonelli. The Italian has been with Mercedes ever since he was racing in karts at just 11 years old.

The hype for the 17-year-old comes from his vast amount of success in the junior categories accumulating 31 wins and four championships (FRECA, FRMEC, Italian F4 and ADAC) in 2022-2023.

After wrapping up the FRECA championship with two races to go in 2023, Antonelli skipped F3 entirely and secured a spot in PREMA’s F2 lineup.

Toto Wolff has labelled Antonelli an option, however, he is waiting to see how the Italian’s F2 campaign unfolds before making any decision. With Antonelli becoming a top contender for the seat, Mercedes announced that the junior would be giving his first taste of an F1 car. Antonelli will undergo a testing session on the 16th of April, running the W12 around the Red Bull Ring.

The will be the first of many testing sessions Antonelli will be undertaking this season, with the sessions intended to prepare him for the jump into F1. Following the exciting news, Wolff spoke to F1, where he expressed how ‘happy’ he is to see the junior in an F1 car:

“But yeah, [the test] is going to be there with a 2021 car. We want to give him the feeling of what a really good car looks like, and then we are going to put him in the 2022 car to see what the difference is!

“I’m really keen and happy to see him in a Formula 1 car. He’s been with us since he was 11. I have a picture of him standing next to me on the centre console as a baby boy in go-karting, and now to witness that development into a Formula 1 driver is something that I’m really proud of.”

In regards to the seat, Wolff also expressed how he his keeping his options open. With a possibility of Max Verstappen leaving Red Bull following the off-track allegations Christian Horner has been under, the German has stated he will be waiting to see what Verstappen does before making a decision, stating that a decision like this won’t just happen ‘in a few weeks’:

“I think we are going to wait on a decision. We have a few interesting options. The more we are able to assess how the season pans out, young drivers, slightly older ones, that’s not going to be a decision we want to take in the next few weeks, it’s rather a few months depending on where it goes.”

Featured image credits: Jakub Porzycki via Getty Images

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