FEBRUARY 16, 2024

Mercedes should sign teenager for 2025 says Fisichella

A 17-year-old is the early favourite to replace the Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2025.

Mercedes W15 shakedown test
© Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

It has been rumoured that Fernando Alonso or another highly experienced driver might be a better option, but the Toto Wolff-managed Kimi Antonelli - who is named after Kimi Raikkonen - is being tipped as a Max Verstappen of the future.

The young Italian has already amassed the F1 superlicense points he needs in Formulas 4 and Regional, and leaps straight into Formula 2 this year as a hot title favourite.

Wolff has not ruled him out as a successor to Hamilton, but he's also playing down the speculation.

We have to be careful with the big hype surrounding Kimi, said the Mercedes team boss.

Bringing him into Formula 2 is a big step, because these cars are heavier and have a lot more power. And I think if we start turning his head or spreading rumours in the media, it won't help his campaign, Wolff told Sport1.

If we give him time and don't expect him to conquer everything in his first season, he can become a great in this sport. But he's only 17, that's so young, he admitted.

So I would rather not speculate about him going into Formula 1 at this stage.

Antonelli's fellow Italian Giancarlo Fisichella, a former F1 driver, encourages Wolff to be bold in making the decision about Hamilton's successor.

I think Mercedes should take him, he said. He is so fast and already very good. I would like to see him there.