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Mercedes F1 junior dismisses 'noise' around promotion chance

RacingNews365 exclusively spoke to the Mercedes F1 junior over his promotion chances.

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Mercedes Formula 1 junior Frederik Vesti has declared he is "focusing on myself" amid the speculation around Andrea Kimi Antonelli. 

Both Vesti and Antonelli are on the books as Mercedes proteges, but the latter has heavily-been linked with making his F1 debut, possibly even as a replacement for the out-going Lewis Hamilton in 2025.

By contrast, Vesti's name has not been linked to an F1 seat as often as Antonelli's - who could also sign for Williams once he secures a superlicence. 

The Dane, who is racing in the European Le Mans series in 2024 is also set to take part in the upcoming Formula E rookie test in Berlin for Mahindra, where he exclusively spoke to RacingNews365 of his future plans.

"F1 is still my main target, and I am a reserve driver with Mercedes right now, and I'm going to stay close and do my best to get a seat," Vesti told RacingNews365.

"I'm really trying to focus on myself and want to be in the best seat as quickly as possible, but on my side, I know I need to continue to improve and develop as a driver. 

"And to do that, I need to focus on myself and can't really control what is going to happen. 

"I can only control how I can push to the maximum and do my best."

Being a world champion

Vesti's time in Formula 2 came to an end after the 2023 season, in which he finished runner-up to newly-minted McLaren IndyCar driver Theo Pourchaire, scoring six wins. 

He has sampled F1 machinery, taking part for Mercedes in its mandatory FP1 young driver sessions in Mexico City and Abu Dhabi as well as the 2022 young driver test. 

Having got to the reserve driver position, Vesti is determined to make the final step to F1 - and ultimately win a world championship.

"I've spent 13 years getting this far, and I am not just going to give up because of a few bumps," Vesti said of his F1 dream. 

"I'm going to keep pushing really hard and I know it will be possible. We have good support from Mercedes and from Denmark. 

"I have a good manager and have the results backing myself up, so let's see what is going to happen, but I definitely believe in it.

"Formula 1 is still my main goal, but Formula E offers a chance to fight for a world championship if you are not in F1.

"That is the reason why Formula E has so many great ex-F1 drivers - top drivers around the world are racing in FE because it is a world championship and you get the chance to fight for that, even though you're not in F1.

"For me, that is what makes it interesting. My goal is to be a world champion in F1, but for whatever reason if I don't reach F1, I still want to be a world champion - and Formula E offers that opportunity."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

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