Lewis Hamilton says he would pick Andrea Kimi Antonelli to take his Mercedes F1 seat

Photo Credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team
Spread the love

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has voiced his preference for 17-year-old Andrea Kimi Antonelli to fill his seat at Mercedes when he joins Ferrari in 2025. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has explored options like Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, but Hamilton believes Antonelli, a Mercedes protégé, is the ideal choice.

Speaking in a media session ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Hamilton expressed his admiration for Carlos Sainz, acknowledging his capabilities as a great driver suitable for any team. He said, “I think Carlos is a great driver, so I think wherever he goes, I think he would be a positive for any team.”

However, Hamilton’s inclination towards a younger talent like Antonelli showcases his belief in nurturing new talent within the sport.

In the same statement, Hamilton stated, “I have no idea what Toto’s plans are, but for me, if it was my job and my role, I would take on a youngster, and I would take on Kimi.”

Despite speculation surrounding established names like Fernando Alonso, and Alex Albon, who were initially linked with Hamilton’s seat, Antonelli emerges as a frontrunner alongside Sainz. With Antonelli having already tested Mercedes F1 machinery at the Red Bull Ring Imola and showed promise, he stands as a viable candidate to step into Hamilton’s shoes. Before F2, the Italian absolutely dominated every single-seater category he was in.

Hamilton’s optimism about Mercedes’ future resonates in his recent comments, highlighting the team’s resilience and determination amidst challenges. He added, “The energy in the team is amazing. They are so resilient and continue to push all the time, even though we have been knocked down quite a few times this year.”

Addressing questions about the wait for upgrades, Hamilton acknowledged, “It’s just a patience game and just making do with what you have.”

However, he remained encouraged by progress at the factory and the anticipation of new components. “The fact that we do have a direction forward, and we’re testing on the simulator…we know we have that already,” he affirmed.

As Hamilton prepares for his transition to Ferrari, his endorsement of Antonelli signals a vote of confidence in Mercedes’ commitment to fostering young talent and maintaining their competitive edge in Formula 1.