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'Immense' potential Hamilton F1 replacement hyped up by Wolff

'Immense' potential Hamilton F1 replacement hyped up by Wolff

'Immense' potential Hamilton F1 replacement hyped up by Wolff

'Immense' potential Hamilton F1 replacement hyped up by Wolff

As Lewis Hamilton continues to defy age with his racing prowess, the inevitability of finding a successor looms on the horizon for Mercedes, team principal Toto Wolff has acknowledged.

Hamilton's contract extends until 2025, and while the seven-time world champion remains at the top of his game, identifying a worthy successor becomes a formidable challenge.

One prominent contender emerging from the Mercedes driver academy is the 17-year-old Italian prodigy, Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

Having swiftly ascended through the ranks with impressive performances in karting and F4, Antonelli's skip to Formula 2 this season intensifies the anticipation.

Toto Wolff has acknowledged that Mercedes will soon have to find a replacement for Lewis Hamilton
Andrea Kimi Antonelli is on the radar of Toto Wolff

Wolff: Kimi needs time

Despite Wolff's emphasis on tempering expectations, he concedes that Mercedes harbours a special talent in the burgeoning racing sensation.

"We got Kimi under the wings in 2012 and he was a great kid already then," he said.

"You could see the character [and] he was strong. We had him in the garage and there was a lot of confidence. In go-karting his track record was immense and then you put him in the junior formulas and he wins every single season in his rookie year.

"But we've got to be careful because there's a lot of hype around him. Putting him into F2 is a big step because those cars are heavier and much more powerful. If we give him his time and don't expect him to be killing it in his first season, I think he can be a really great one in this sport. He's 17 - this is so young."

READ MORE: Wolff opens up on potential retirement

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Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Toto Wolff Andrea Kimi Antonelli Formula 2
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