Mercedes Pick Andrea Kimi Antonelli as Lewis Hamilton’s Successor in F1

Antonelli, a Mercedes F2 protege, has been nicknamed "the new Verstappen," and Wolff appears to favor promoting the Italian.

Toto Wolff has hinted at promoting Andrea Kimi Antonelli to Formula 1 as Lewis Hamilton’s successor at Mercedes.

With Hamilton likely heading to Ferrari, Wolff has been searching for a suitable replacement, initially eyeing Max Verstappen from Red Bull.

However, Verstappen seems set to stay with Red Bull, and Carlos Sainz, whom Hamilton is expected to replace at Ferrari, has also been considered.

Antonelli, a Mercedes F2 protege, has been nicknamed “the new Verstappen,” and Wolff appears to favor promoting the Italian.

READ: Kimi Antonelli Outpaces George Russell in Private Test, Secures 2025 Mercedes Seat

While Mercedes has not made an official announcement, Wolff dropped a significant clue about the potential partnership between Antonelli and George Russell in 2025. “We just want to concentrate on Kimi, that is our future, young drivers,” Wolff told Sky Germany. “We want to commit to that, to young drivers and that is what we’ve told Carlos.”

Recently, both Antonelli and Mercedes and Alpine reserve Mick Schumacher participated in testing days for the team. Despite claims, it was not a direct competition for the seat. Wolff clarified the situation and dismissed rumors that Antonelli outperformed Schumacher and even Russell as “nonsense.”

“They both completed the program that we gave them, and the performance was exactly what we expected,” Wolff said of Antonelli and Schumacher.

“Some of this talk that Kimi was faster than George and much faster than Mick is absolute nonsense. They all drove different programs.”

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Wolff emphasized that the testing was not about setting fast times but rather about running specific programs.

“All three were equally fast, George was by far the fastest and that’s the way it should be, but we ran our programs. It was not about setting fast times.”

This hints that Mercedes’ future might involve nurturing young talent like Antonelli, reflecting their commitment to investing in emerging drivers.