Andrea Kimi Antonelli’s rise through the junior ranks has been nothing short of impressive, winning title after title.
While it’s unlikely we’ll see him in Formula 1 until 2026 at the earliest, Antonelli will be competing in the Formula Regional European Championship (FRECA) rather than FIA Formula 3 in 2023.
F3 for 2024, then a move to F2 in 2025 seems realistic for the Mercedes prodigy as there is little sign of it being pursued in a similar fashion quickly Max Verstappen in 2015.
Antonelli is motorsport’s hottest off-the-charts talent
Could he become Italy’s first Formula 1 World Champion since Alberto Ascari in 1953?
Italy’s driver talent has dried up in recent years Antonio Giovinazzi overwhelmingly during his three years at Alfa Romeo.
Giancarlo Fisichella was the last Italian to win a Grand Prix in 2006, with the former Renault and Ferrari driver being able to win races in the right car like his compatriots Jarno Trullithey didn’t quite have that world champion edge
With Antonelli destined for greatness, how has he fared so far?
Antonelli has been racing since 2014 and made his karting debut when he was just seven years old.
His string of title successes – WSK Champions Cup, WSK Super Master Series, WSK Euro Series – culminated in Antonelli attracting the attention of Mercedes and Wolff and signing him to their driver academy in 2019.
The head of the Mercedes driver academy – Gwen Lagrue – described Antonelli as a phenomenon and there is no doubt that his track record bears this out.
In 2020 he moved up to the OK Kart class and won the FIA Karting European Championship and the class of the WSK Euro Series.
Further karting success in 2021 led to his single-seater debut with Prema in Italian F4.
Despite entering the championship mid-season, Antonelli was quick to show his talent at just 15 years old, finishing on the podium in each of the last three races.
So it was no surprise that he destroyed the field in Italian F4 last year, winning 13 of the 20 races, with 14 pole positions and 15 podiums.
He combined this with a dominant season in the ADAC F4 Championship and clinched the title there.
It’s still early days but his good relationship with Wolff will give him every opportunity to make it to Formula 1 as you can see George Russell, Esteban Ocon or Valtteri Bottaswhich the German used to administer.
“I have a wonderful relationship with Mercedes and I also speak to Toto often and I keep him up to date on my weekends and how they are going,” Antonelli revealed in an interview Fanpage.it.O
“I have a good relationship with him, but also with the Mercedes Academy: they always follow me. I have to say I’m very happy to be with them because they help me a lot and I know I can go a long way with them.”
Antonelli is a star of the future.
There’s certainly no guarantee of making it into Formula 1, let alone winning races or becoming world champions, but all signs point to it.