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Hamilton Endorses Rising Star Antonelli as His Preferred Successor at Mercedes for F1 2025

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Unveiled: Lewis Hamilton's Top Pick for His Mercedes Successor

Lewis Hamilton has indicated that he would select Mercedes protégé Andrea Kimi Antonelli to take over his F1 seat in 2025.

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

The announcement by the seven-time world champion of their departure from Mercedes to join Ferrari next season has created an open spot next to George Russell.

The young prodigy from Mercedes, Antonelli, is reportedly the top pick to fill Hamilton's shoes, even though the 17-year-old Italian has just advanced to Formula 2 this season, bypassing Formula 3 entirely.

Antonelli, who transitioned from kart racing to the automotive circuit in 2021, is quickly gaining recognition as a potential Formula 1 competitor, having claimed several junior single-seater championships in his initial attempts.

Recently, he has completed a pair of confidential Formula 1 trials for Mercedes, taking their 2021 and 2022 models for spins at Red Bull Ring and Imola tracks, respectively.

Following Ferrari's move to acquire Hamilton, leaving him without a seat, Carlos Sainz emerges as a seasoned alternative for Mercedes.

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

"Carlos is an exceptional driver, and I believe he'd be an asset to any team he joins," the 39-year-old shared with media, including Crash.net.

"Frankly, I'm not sure about Toto's intentions, but personally, if it were up to me, if I were in charge, I'd likely go with Kimi, especially if we're talking about working with a younger talent."

During the Miami Grand Prix, it was revealed that a racing team had requested the FIA to issue Antonelli a superlicence, enabling him to have his premiere in F1 before his 18th birthday on August 25.

Antonelli has accumulated 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 emphasized that Mercedes did not submit the exemption request, has been eager to prevent placing undue stress on Antonelli.

"Wolff mentioned that it's not beneficial for him as he should be focusing on his Formula 2 efforts. He's undergoing extensive testing with us to get him up to par, and, in my opinion, the choice regarding who will take the second driver's spot is still quite a bit off, likely several weeks or even months."

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