Antonelli set for F1 test debut with Mercedes

Published: 02, Apr 2024

Mercedes rookie Andrea Kimi Antonelli is due for his first Formula 1 test at the Red Bull Ring later this month.

Mercedes has planned a two-day test from 16 April for its highly-rated novice driver in Austria, where he will assume the reins of the 2021 Mercedes W12.

The acclimatisation test will be the 17-year-old's first of several planned F1 excursions this year as Mercedes prepares him to step up to F1 in the future, adding to his responsibilities in the Formula 2 championship with Prema.

Antonelli is under contemplation for promotion to F1 pending on his progress this year, with Mercedes having the unoccupied seat of Lewis Hamilton to occupy for the 2025 season and beyond.

It could also attempt to position the Italian at a customer team or decide to offer him a second season in F2, having graduated to the series directly from Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine by bypassing Formula 3.

Mercedes protege Antonelli set for maiden F1 test

Following a difficult weekend for Prema in Bahrain, Antonelli moved up to ninth in the standings in Melbourne due to a fourth position in the feature race, from second on the grid.

Team-mate Oliver Bearman scored his first point after making a highly-publicised F1 debut with Ferrari in Jeddah.

F2 doesn't race again until the Imola round in May, giving Antonelli a window to conduct F1 testing.

Rodin driver and Sauber student Zane Maloney leads the championship after three circuits, clear of Paul Aron and Dennis Hauger.

Commenting on the vacant Mercedes seat for 2025, team principal Toto Wolff said he would take his time to make his decision, partially dictated by any availability of Max Verstappen.

"There are a few options that are really interesting for us – from the very young super talent to someone of the other ones, who are very experienced," he told Fox Sports Australia in Melbourne.


"That’s not going to happen in the next few weeks or months. I want to continue to monitor the market. It depends on what Max does."

As part of F1's testing of a previous car regulations, tests can be done with 2022-spec machinery from this year, which bore more resemblance to the current crop of cars.

That implies Antonelli would also be permitted to sample Mercedes' 2022 W13 at future evaluations.