Mercedes grow F1 examination programme for Antonelli but ‘not discounting’ Vettel

Mercedes will give a lot more Formulation one screening options to its junior driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who is a applicant for the seat Lewis Hamilton will vacate in 2025.

Nevertheless crew principal Toto Wolff verified Sebastian Vettel, who retired from F1 two several years in the past, is also below thing to consider.

Antonelli is owing to have his to start with operate in a person of Mercedes’ F1 automobiles throughout the crack in between now and the resumption of his F2 year at Imola following thirty day period. Wolff mentioned this programme was prepared right before Hamilton’s choice to depart the crew for Ferrari, but has expanded in scope.

“The programme of Kimi driving [a] Formulation one [car] has been in put for a very long time and has not improved massively above the very last couple months,” he mentioned. “What we have performed is additional a lot more times, but what you will see in the following couple months has been in put, regardless of whether or not he’s heading to sit in a Formulation one automobile following yr.”

Groups are permitted to operate motorists in two-yr-aged automobiles below F1’s Screening of Preceding Cars and trucks rules. Nevertheless as Mercedes’ W13 was a person of its minimum aggressive styles, beset by significant porpoising issues, Antonelli will make his debut in its speedy predecessor, which the crew employed to gain its most current constructors’ championship title.

“We’re heading to do a couple of these times for him to get cozy in an F1 automobile,” mentioned Wolff. “He’s driving the 2021 automobile in Austria for the to start with time. We want to give him a experience what a actually fantastic automobile feels like right before we set him in the ’22.”

Antonelli has enhanced his effects above his to start with 3 weekends in F2. He skilled next and concluded fourth in the characteristic race at Albert Park and lies ninth in the standings.

Wolff mentioned the crew is “keen to see what he’s in a position to do in a Formulation one automobile,” specifically just after the amazing overall performance by his F2 crew mate Oliver Bearman, who produced his F1 debut very last thirty day period as a substitute for Carlos Sainz Jnr in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel, Porsche, Motorland Aragon, 2024Vettel analyzed a Porsche hypercar very last week“It was refreshing to seem at how aggressive he was in Saudi Arabia,” mentioned Wolff. “No no cost observe, large pace, challenging monitor, and he was correct up there. So Kimi would be executing just good.”

Mercedes is also thinking of a driver who signifies the reverse to Antonelli in conditions of age and knowledge. 4-situations environment winner Vettel indicated this 7 days he was searching at a probable return to F1 following yr.

Wolff mentioned Vettel “is an individual that you can never ever discount” from employing. “I assume his monitor report is phenomenal. And in some cases possibly having a crack is also fantastic to re-assess what is critical for you and refine your enthusiasm.”

Nevertheless he mentioned Mercedes will not be rushed into having a choice, even if it signifies lacking out on some primary motorists who he suspects are about to company up their designs.

“We have not taken the choice however and it is not a little something that we strategy to do in the following couple months. I know that the driver marketplace is quite dynamic. Some of the actually fantastic men are about to indicator for some of the other groups.

“We want to go on to have these conversations and continue to keep the choices open up. But at that phase, I assume it is a lot way too early for us to dedicate to a driver, regardless of whether quite youthful or regardless of whether quite expert – I never want to say aged – quite expert, which the following couple months will give us a lot more clues.”

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