Another pick revealed for Lewis Hamilton’s mystery Mercedes replacement

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes race suit.

Lewis Hamilton.

Former Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries explained why he thinks Andrea Kimi Antonelli deserves to race for the team, perhaps as soon as 2025 to replace Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes has a huge decision to make looking ahead to their 2025 line-up, knowing that their seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton is on his way to Ferrari for next season.

Nyck de Vries hopes to see Kimi Antonelli at Mercedes

A host of drivers have been linked with the upcoming Mercedes vacancy, including F1’s dominant force Max Verstappen, as well as Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon, Alex Albon and Carlos Sainz, who Hamilton will replace at Ferrari.

But if Mercedes were to go bold, then they could turn to their exciting Junior Team driver Antonelli, who after racing to the Formula Regional European Championship title last year, is starting to find his footing after the jump up to Formula 2, the Italian scoring a pair of P6 finishes at the second round of the season in Saudi Arabia.

Depending on how Antonelli progresses across the season, the 17-year-old could work his way into contention for the 2025 Mercedes vacancy, which De Vries would like to see as he thinks Antonelli is a “great and complete driver”, while urging that Mercedes should not fear “change” as they ready to lose Hamilton, team and driver having achieved record-breaking success together since his arrival in 2013.

“Mercedes has a great, young driver in Andrea Kimi Antonelli,” said De Vries in conversation with

“Of course, it’s a loss, because Lewis is a phenomenal driver with an impressive track record. He is possibly the best driver of the last decade. But when one door closes, another one always opens.

“Change doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. It happens. But I hope Antonelli gets the chance because I believe he is very competent. I think he’s a great and complete driver.” recommends

F1 2024: Head-to-head qualifying record between team-mates

F1 2024: Head-to-head race statistics between team-mates

De Vries, who also won the Formula E title with Mercedes in 2021, spent three years as their F1 reserve driver and spoke very positively about his experience with the Brackley-based outfit, encouraging words for Antonelli or whichever driver it will be who is named as Hamilton’s successor.

“I look back on my time at Mercedes with satisfaction, because I enjoyed it,” said De Vries. “It was a great team with a great culture and they cared a lot about their drivers and people. I appreciate that.

“I am very grateful to them for all the opportunities they gave me, especially to grow within their system as a driver.”

Mercedes has suffered a slow start to the F1 2024 campaign, with George Russell’s P5 in Bahrain serving as their best result from the opening two rounds.

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