Mercedes F1 2025 candidate revels in ‘incredible experience’ of first two-day test

Henry Valantine
Andrea Kimi Antonelli has completed a Mercedes test.

A two-day test is now complete for Andrea Kimi Antonelli in a Mercedes W12.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli’s first test in a Formula 1 car is now complete, as the 17-year-old got the chance to drive Mercedes’ 2021 challenger, the W12.

The current Formula 2 driver took in two days of running around the Red Bull Ring as he got acclimatised to trying out a Formula 1 car, with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff having already confirmed a further test in the team’s 2022 car, the W13, will come later in the season.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli completes first Mercedes test at the Red Bull Ring

Wolff has acknowledged that Antonelli is among the candidates to replace the outgoing Lewis Hamilton next season, though admitted the driver market is dependent on the unlikely prospect of whether or not Max Verstappen decides to leave Red Bull.

But with no shortage of options available, Antonelli, whose junior career to date has been glittering, has emerged as a potential option for Wolff to promote a rookie into a Mercedes seat for the first time since the team returned to the sport, should he perform well enough this season.

Following the completion of his running in Austria, Mercedes shared a handful of photos of their junior driver as he took to the track in Formula 1 machinery for the first time in his young career.

Antonelli himself revealed that snow curtailed his first planned day of running, but made up for it with a dry second day to get valuable mileage under his belt – which the team say amounted to 500km over the two days, which equates to approximately 115 laps of the Red Bull Ring.

“Hello guys, first two days done in an F1 car. It’s been an incredible experience, I loved every second of it,” he said in a clip posted on Mercedes’ social media accounts.

“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 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.”

“We did some sim work and ran through some important things ahead of the day,” Antonelli added to the team’s official website.

“That was really useful because once I was out on track, I knew what the team was telling me on the radio.

“I have learned a lot in these two days, things which will be really helpful when I go back to F2. But I need to keep working, and keep improving too.” recommends

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Asked if he would give Antonelli a helping hand ahead of his first test, Wolff told media in Suzuka with a laugh: “Well, that would be really bad if I would be starting to give Andrea instructions!

“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.”

Antonelli’s next round in Formula 2 will be on the F1 support schedule at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola in May, with the Italian currently ninth in the standings after a P4 finish in the feature race in Australia – his results having improved with every time he has crossed the line so far this year.

He is racing alongside highly-rated Ferrari junior Oliver Bearman at PREMA this year, with the British teenager having already impressed on his F1 debut in place of the unwell Carlos Sainz at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in March.

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