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Mercedes

Potential Hamilton replacement reacts after first F1 test

Kimi Antonelli has been tipped as a future Formula 1 driver and is believed to be in contention to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next year.

Kimi Antonelli has successfully completed his first day of Formula 1 testing, having his maiden experience around the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Antonelli, 17, has been part of Mercedes' F1 junior programme and is tipped as an F1 star of the future amid his impressive performances in single-seater categories.

The Italian is being linked with an immediate promotion to F1 as soon as 2025 to replace Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff recently declared that Antonelli is in the strongest position to secure the drive.

In preparation for a future in F1, Antonelli was handed a private test around the Red Bull Ring in the Mercedes W12.

The W12 won the constructors' championship in 2021 and almost delivered Lewis Hamilton a record-breaking eighth drivers' title.

Reacting to his outing, Antonelli stated: "It has been an incredible experience.

“I loved every second of it.

"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 [completed], and it was really good fun.

"I want to thank all the team for all their hard work. Excited for what's coming."

Antonelli's racing programme in Formula 2 will continue next month at Imola.

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