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Hamilton Endorses Rising Star Andrea Kimi Antonelli as His Successor for Mercedes’ F1 2025 Season

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Lewis Hamilton suggests to Toto Wolff that Andrea Kimi Antonelli should succeed him at Mercedes for the 2025 F1 season.

Lewis Hamilton has expressed that if the decision were up to him, he would likely choose Andrea Kimi Antonelli to succeed him at Mercedes for the 2025 Formula 1 season.

The announcement by the seven-time world champion to leave Mercedes and join Ferrari next season has opened up a spot next to George Russell.

Mercedes prodigy Antonelli is reportedly the top pick to succeed Hamilton, even though the 17-year-old from Italy has just advanced to Formula 2 this season, bypassing Formula 3 altogether.

Antonelli, who transitioned from kart racing to car competitions in 2021, is quickly being recognized as a prospective Formula 1 racer, having secured several titles in junior single-seater championships on his first attempt.

Recently, he has undertaken two confidential Formula 1 trials with Mercedes, piloting their 2021 and 2022 models at the Red Bull Ring and Imola circuits, respectively.

Following Ferrari's move to bring Hamilton on board, Carlos Sainz finds himself without a seat, presenting a seasoned alternative for Mercedes.

Before the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola this weekend, Hamilton was questioned about whether he believes Sainz would be the ideal candidate to take over his position.

"The 39-year-old expressed to the media, including Crash.net, his belief that Carlos would be an asset to any team he joins, given his exceptional driving skills."

"Truthfully, I'm not sure about Toto's intentions, but personally, if it were up to me, if I were in charge, I'd likely choose to bring Kimi on board."

During the Miami Grand Prix, it came to light that a request had been made to the FIA by a team for Antonelli to be granted a superlicence, enabling him to debut in F1 prior to his 18th birthday on August 25.

Antonelli has acquired the necessary superlicence points; however, FIA regulations prevent drivers from participating in their first grand prix until they are 18 years old.

Toto Wolff, who clarified that Mercedes did not submit the exemption request, has been eager to prevent placing undue stress on Antonelli.

"Wolff mentioned that it isn't beneficial for him as he should be focusing on his F2 season. He's undergoing extensive testing with us to get him up to par, and I believe the choice for the second driver is still weeks, if not months, down the line," Wolff stated.

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