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Andrea Kimi Antonelli

Wolff offers Antonelli crucial advice ahead of potential F1 promotion

Kimi Antonelli is in contention for a 2025 Formula 1 drive. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, however, has insisted his mind should currently be elsewhere.

Wolff Japan
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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has issued Kimi Antonelli with a crucial piece of advice as speculation mounts over his Formula 1 future.

Antonelli is in contention for a drive at Mercedes for 2025 when Lewis Hamilton departs to join rivals Ferrari.

The Italian is currently competing in his rookie Formula 2 campaign after spiralling up the junior racing ladder following his success in the Formula Regional European Championship last year.

Antonelli then made his F1 test debut earlier this year as Mercedes prepared him for a potential promotion, although Wolff feels the 17-year-old should remained focused on the primary goal.

“So many stories were created, and it doesn't do him any favours because he needs to concentrate on his F2 campaign," Wolff told media including RacingNews365.

"He's doing lots of testing for us to bring him up to speed and I think this decision of the second driver is weeks if not months away.”

It emerged last week that the FIA received a request to grant Antonelli a super licence early as he is not eligible for one until August, when he turns 18.

Wolff has denied the request came from Mercedes. He said: “We didn't make any approach to the FIA about getting an earlier release."

Should Antonelli be promoted to Mercedes next year, he will partner George Russell, who is fully expecting the team protégé to be offered a seat at some point in his career.

"I've heard he's been doing a good job,” Russell said. “Obviously, when you're driving alone, it's always difficult to get a reference.

“And for him, it's just about gaining the necessary experience. There's no doubt he's going to be a Mercedes driver at some point in the future. Is that next year? Is it in years to come? Time will tell.

“He’s a great driver, he's won everything in his junior career, so there's no reason not to see him in Formula 1 and mix in with the best in the years to come.”

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying