Formula 1: 3 most likely options for Kimi Antonelli in 2025

Kimi Antonelli, a part of the Mercedes Junior Team, is an up-and-coming youngster who could be headed to Formula 1 next year.
Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Formula 2
Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Formula 2 / Qian Jun/MB Media/GettyImages

The common belief is that Andrea Kimi Antonelli will have a seat in Formula 1 sometime soon. The 17-year-old has been highly rated by many and is believed to be in consideration for a seat with Mercedes or Williams as early as next season.

Despite his youth, Antonelli has been quite skillful behind the wheel of a race car. After winning the 2022 ADAC Formula 3 Championship and the 2023 Formula Regional Middle East and Formula Regional European Championships, the Italian driver is in his first season of Formula 2 and sits ninth in the championship for Prema Racing through six starts.

His results have only been trending upward since the first feature race weekend in Bahrain.

Antonelli to Williams?

Williams team principal James Vowles recently spoke about the prospect of Antonelli joining the Mercedes-powered team in 2025, replacing Logan Sargeant or perhaps even Alex Albon if Albon lands elsewhere.

However, he did acknowledge that Antonelli is ultimately a Mercedes driver. Though Vowles did play a part in Mercedes signing him several years ago, he also wants to consider the drivers from the Williams Academy, which also have drivers competing in Formula 2 this season.

Could Mercedes be an option?

With Lewis Hamilton set to replace Carlos Sainz Jr. at Ferrari, Mercedes have a seat to fill alongside George Russell for next season.

Even before the 2024 season began, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff stated how impressive Antonelli had been so far.

"He's going to be a very, very successful driver in Formula 1," Wolff said. "But he hasn't started his Formula 2 campaign yet. They had a difficult test in the first days in Bahrain and we shall see how he develops. That's why I want to want to wait out the first few [F2] races that are actually going to go with Formula 1.”

The Mercedes team boss understands that filling the shoes of a seven-time world champion in Hamilton is a tall task, and an even bigger one for a driver who would only be 18 years old.

Another season in Formula 2?

If Antonelli goes straight to Mercedes without a stop at Williams (or elsewhere), Wolff may opt to allow him further development in Formula 2 and bring him up in 2026 instead, which is when the new regulations are slated to go into effect.

The question is whether or not the Silver Arrows would be willing to sign somebody else to replace Hamilton for just one season.

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Considering things are still in the early stages, Wolff has not completely ruled out a Russell and Antonelli partnership in 2025. But based on the rumors of other drivers replacing Hamilton, it is safe to say that the Italian driver is still considered a dark horse contender for that second Mercedes seat. He remains one to watch in Formula 2 as teams begin to decide on their lineups for 2025.