Lewis Hamilton backs 17-year-old Antonelli to succeed Mercedes

IMOLA, Italy – Lewis Hamilton has backed teenage driver Andrea Chimi Antonelli to replace him at Mercedes next year.

Hamilton will leave Mercedes for Ferrari at the end of this season, leaving his team with the difficult decision of whether to replace him. Seventeen-year-old Antonelli is a Mercedes junior driver who competes in Formula 2 races and is also undergoing an intensive Formula 1 testing program in older Mercedes F1 cars.

The Italian has also been linked with a contract for Williams if Mercedes boss Toto Wolff decides against signing him and George Russell in 2025. Andrea Kimi Antonelli has secured the backing of Lewis Hamilton to take the Mercedes seat next year. getty

At a press conference ahead of this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, Hamilton was asked if his successor at Ferrari, Carlos Sainz, would be a good candidate for a move to Mercedes, and said he preferred Antonelli. “Honestly, I don’t know what Toto’s plan is, but if I hired a young guy,” he said. you. ”. ”

Mercedes have had their worst start to a season in their history, sitting fourth in the constructors’ standings.

The team has made updates for this weekend’s Imola race, but there are no plans to fix some of the fundamental issues with the car until a new update is made later this year. –
“It wasn’t great at all, but the last game (in Miami) was positive and we still have a long way to go,” he said. “I’m really excited about what’s next. We achieved a milestone in the last race and we will have one this weekend and more are in the pipeline.

“I feel like we’ve kind of found more of our North Star in what we need to do and change, it just takes time. But the energy in the team is incredible.

“They are so resilient on this team. He continues to attack even though he is defeated several times.

“So we have to keep our heads down, stay focused and try to do the best job possible.”

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