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Mercedes make HUGE 2024 announcement for champion driver

Mercedes make HUGE 2024 announcement for champion driver

F1 News

Mercedes make HUGE 2024 announcement for champion driver

Mercedes make HUGE 2024 announcement for champion driver

Mercedes have announced that young driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli will be promoted to PREMA racing next season to race in Formula 2.

The 17-year-old has been hugely impressive in his young motorsport career to date, winning five titles in less than two years, most recently in the Formula Regional European Championship, where he won the title with two races to spare.

He will join the PREMA racing team for the post-season F2 test at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, before racing for the team in 2024.

Mercedes have recently tied down both of their star F1 drivers, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, to new contracts that will keep them with the team until at least the end of 2025.

With Hamilton being into his 40s by then, Mercedes know that they may perhaps have to find a replacement for the seven-time world champion heading into the new regulation changes in 2026.

READ MORE: F1 News Today: Red Bull to REPLACE driver as Verstappen rages and Hamilton and Leclerc have PUNISHMENT confirmed

Andrea Kimi Antonelli recently won the FRECA championship
Although Andrea Kimi Antonelli is just 17, he has won five titles in the last two years across motorsport series
Lewis Hamilton is now 38, and may be considering retiring once his current contract expires in 2025

By continuing to develop young talent via their junior programme, they put themselves in the best position to be able to do that.

Antonelli 'delighted' by F2 opportunity

Having been a member of the Mercedes junior programme since 2019, when he was just 13 years old racing karts, the Italian has his eyes set firmly on the very top of motorsport.

"I'm very happy for this opportunity," he told Mercedes' official website.

"From Formula Regional to Formula 2, it will be a huge jump. I'm aware that it will be very challenging because the level is really high there.

"It will be a new car, for me and the others as well but it's still going to be tough. I don't want to set expectations, I will try to learn as much as possible in testing to be ready for the first race, have fun as always, and do a good job.

"I'm delighted to continue with PREMA as I started my single-seater career with them and they are my second family and I love working with them."

READ MORE: Mercedes eye talented star to break into F1 as potential Hamilton replacement

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