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F1 star rules out Antonelli stop-gap option at Mercedes

F1 star rules out Antonelli stop-gap option at Mercedes

F1 star rules out Antonelli stop-gap option at Mercedes

F1 star rules out Antonelli stop-gap option at Mercedes

A Formula 1 star has ruled out being a stop-gap option for Mercedes in 2025, whilst they wait for youngster Kimi Andrea Antonelli.

Mercedes may have lost Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari, but they have no shortage of drivers keen to jump into his vacant seat next season.

READ MORE: Wolff drops HUGE clue over Hamilton F1 replacement at Mercedes

The Brackley outfit is one of the most successful teams in modern F1 history, winning eight constructors’ titles, making them an attractive proposition for drivers out of contract in 2025.

Multiple drivers have been tipped to join Mercedes, including Carlos Sainz, who will be replaced by Hamilton at Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton will join Ferrari in 2025
Who will replace Lewis Hamilton?

Who will replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes?

Mercedes have publicly supported their academy driver, Kimi Andrea Antonelli, as a potential replacement for Hamilton, despite being only 17 and in his first season of Formula 2.

His inexperience could see him move to Williams in his first F1 season, still leaving the Mercedes seat unoccupied for 2025.

However, drivers of the calibre of Sainz will hope to sign a multi-year deal, rather than act as a stop-gap for Antonelli.

These sentiments have been echoed by former Mercedes race winner Valtteri Bottas, who currently races with Kick Sauber, soon to become Audi in 2026.

Sauber/Audi have already signed Nico Hulkenberg for 2025, leaving one spot vacant at the team.

If Audi offers Sainz a long-term deal and successfully signs the Spanish driver, this could leave Bottas without a seat.

In an interview with Mundo Deportivo, Bottas opened up on his F1 future, and whether he would return to Mercedes.

READ MORE: New Audi F1 driver REPLACEMENT target emerges despite Sainz links

Could Valtteri Bottas return to Mercedes?

“Everything is an option. Obviously, it's a great team, but it depends on the terms,” he said.

When asked if he would consider a one-year deal at Mercedes before Antonelli is promoted, the race winner suggested he would not be a stop-gap for the young driver.

“Well, for my next contract, honestly, the priority is to have something long-term. That's my priority,” Bottas added.

READ MORE: FIA announce PUNISHMENT for Red Bull F1 star

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Mercedes Lewis Hamilton Ferrari Formula 1 Carlos Sainz Kimi Andrea Antonelli
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