Mercedes board votes ‘yes’ for Antonelli in 2025

Wed, 29 May 2024, 11:56

May 29 (GMM) Kimi Antonelli will definitely replace the Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes from next year, according to Italy’s Il Corriere dello Sport newspaper.

Over the Monaco GP weekend, rumours circulated that soon-to-be Ferrari refugee Carlos Sainz has been told that he will not be George Russell’s teammate next year.

Earlier in May, Mercedes organised a private test at Silverstone where 17-year-old Antonelli, whose real first name is actually Andrea, was pitted in a head-to-head with Mick Schumacher and Russell.

“The three drivers drove a 2022 Mercedes and took turns following an identical program,” Corriere dello Sport explains.

“Antonelli was as fast as Russell with a qualifying setup, and slightly better than him on race pace.”

Based on those results, the necessary 15 members of the Mercedes board reportedly voted ‘yes’ to Antonelli making his F1 debut with the Brackley based team next year.

Prior to the head-to-head test, only 3 board members approved of the proposal, Corriere dello Sport added.

Russell, 26, says he would be happy to be paired with Antonelli in 2025 – or any other driver.

“I think Kimi is a fantastic driver,” said the Briton. “He’s no doubt going to be a Formula 1 driver in the future and he’s a fellow (Mercedes) junior driver as well, coming through the ranks, as I did.

“So I think it makes for a great opportunity for Mercedes building into the future,” Russell added. “But I’d welcome anybody as my teammate. I feel like I’ve got a pretty good teammate right now as it is,” he smiled.

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