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Andrea Kimi Antonelli

Antonelli 'looked like he was in F1 for ages' during Mercedes test

Kimi Antonelli is being tipped for a future Formula 1 drive and recently made his test debut with Mercedes.

Antonelli
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Mercedes technical director James Allison has praised Kimi Antonelli following his Formula 1 test debut with the team.

The Italian driver took part in a two-day test with Mercedes at the Red Bull Ring in Austria last month before another outing at Imola.

Antonelli is being tipped to receive a full-time F1 drive in the near future and has even been linked as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next year.

The 17-year-old has shot up the racing ladder as he is currently competing in Formula 2 after winning last year's Formula Regional European Championship.

In a similar way, Allison highlighted the rapid nature in which Antonelli got up to speed in F1 machinery. 

“Well, I have had the great pleasure of listening to the engineers describe the interaction with him,” Allison told media including RacingNews365. 

“[He] is just a young, enthusiastic driver, very, very fast [and] metronomic in his pace.

“He has not been in an F1 car until recently, but made it like he'd been in one for ages within a lap or two.”

Advantage

With Antonelli being new to F1 experience, he has little reference to the previous generation of car compared to the current challenger under the ground effect regulations.

Allison suggested that it sits as an advantage as he brings himself up to pace.

“He came at this generation of cars, the ground effect cars, with an open mind,” he said. 

“He feels all the same things that you'd expect him to feel but he’s not polluted by the previous cars. 

“So he just takes them as they are and, tells us what he would do, what he is feeling as weaknesses and strengths and lets the engineers work to try to improve those things. 

“But he looks like a very promising, promising young driver.”

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look ahead at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The trio discuss last season's cancelled race at Imola, whether McLaren's Miami pace is genuine and if Mercedes teenage sensation Andrea Kimi Antonelli will make his debut before he turns 18.

Want to watch the podcast instead of just listening? Check it out here.

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