Antonelli reflects on ‘incredible’ first F1 test with Mercedes


Mercedes protégé Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who is potentially in line to replace Lewis Hamilton next season at the Brackley squad, descrobed as an “incredible experience” his first outing onboard an F1 car.

The 17-year-old, who currently competes in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, enjoyed his F1 baptism of fire with Mercedes this week at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Unfortunately, Antonelli’s first day of running was delayed due to the presence of snow in Spielberg, but the Italian was eventually able to put a significant number of laps under his belt at the wheel of Mercedes’ 2021-spec W12.

There was an option to run the young gun onboard the German outfit’s 2022 car, but team boss Toto Wolff insisted on Antonelli undertaking his maiden F1 test onboard a more competitive machine.

Read also:

“It’s been an incredible experience,” said Antonelli. “I loved every second of it.

“The first day didn’t go as planned, we got some snow unfortunately so we couldn’t really drive. But the second day was dry and I got quite a lot of laps and it was really good fun.

“I want to thank all the team for all their hard work and I’m excited for what’s coming.”


Overall, the teenager completed over 500 kilometers of running at the Red Bull Ring.

“We did some sim work and ran through some important things ahead of the day,” Antonelli added. “That was really useful because once I was out on track, I knew what the team was telling me on the radio.”

Antonelli’s test in Austria was the first of a comprehensive driver development programme put together by Mercedes for this year and which will see the F2 charger enjoy more outings at various venues in the coming months.

Antonelli is considered to be – along with Carlos Sainz – at the top of Mercedes’ shortlist of candidates earmarked to fill Hamilton’s vacant seat in 2025.

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter