Mercedes eyes Andrea Kimi Antonelli as Plan A, seeing him as the next Max Verstappen

“There are so many options for Mercedes and quite a lot of them are quite good."- Kravitz said.

by Sead Dedovic
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Mercedes eyes Andrea Kimi Antonelli as Plan A, seeing him as the next Max Verstappen
© Aldas / Youtube Channel

Reports about the future successor of Mercedes continue. Although it is still unknown who could be the person to inherit Hamilton, Mercedes has several options at the moment. Sky Sports F1 pundit Ted Kravitz, during a recent Q&A on the Sky Sports F1 website, discussed such options. 

Red Bull made arguably one of the best moves in the history of this sport by hiring Max Verstappen

Kravitz believes that Mercedes could take a similar path and sign young Andrea Kimi Antonelli. The 17-year-old Italian has impressed many with his qualities and will compete in F2 starting this season. Toto Wolff has been talking about the young Italian frequently in the past few weeks, but mostly emphasizing that Antonelli needs experience.

“There are so many options for Mercedes and quite a lot of them are quite good. Obviously the most exciting from Mercedes’ point of view is to put Andrea Kimi Antonelli in the car, because they feel he is the next Max Verstappen or Charles Leclerc, he's that promising."- Kravitz wrote.

Judging by Kravitz's statements, Antonelli will be the number one option. The Williams team will not give a chance to this young driver as they did in the past. However, the 17-year-old will have the opportunity this season in F2 to show that he truly deserves a place in the team. It will be interesting to see his progress and what plans Mercedes has for him.

Ted Kravitz
Ted Kravitz© Clive Mason /Getty Images Sport
 


“At the same time, they'll only know that when he completes at least half a full Formula 2 season, and I believe Toto Wolff when he says that we have to be careful to treat him like a 17-year-old still growing up and not try to rush him too early. It might do more harm than good.

But that's clearly their number one priority. They don't have Williams as a junior team to put Antonelli in. Williams have made it pretty clear that they're not in that game for Antonelli, they’re not going to be the university for him in the way they were for George Russell."

Kravitz believes that the most likely scenario is for Mercedes to go after Antonelli, considering they wouldn't want to see him in another team. It would be a great loss for Mercedes and potentially a big setback in the future.

Ted Kravitz: Choosing Alonso as Plan B would be a great choice

Kravitz suggests that Fernando Alonso, who is currently with Aston Martin, would be a great choice to replace Hamilton and is a similar caliber of driver. In his view, Alonso serves as a solid Plan B option, being an experienced driver who may have two to three more years of peak performance.  Furthermore, Alonso is a driver who has demonstrated his qualities for years. Having such a driver in one's team is everyone's dream. Despite being 42 years old, the Spaniard continues to impress all Formula 1 fans. His future could be uncertain, considering that Mercedes might pursue him.

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso© Chris Graythen / Getty Images
 


Kravitz emphasizes the importance of securing a prominent figure like Alonso as a replacement for Hamilton. He cites Lawrence Stroll's decision to bring in a world champion when Sebastian Vettel left Aston Martin as a relevant example. According to Kravitz, having Alonso would boost the team's morale and confidence, especially compared to opting for a driver without a championship title.

With Hamilton's departure, Mercedes needs an element of experience. Considering that Lewis has been a part of this team for 11 years, his composure and experience were crucial in many moments throughout the previous seasons. Formula 1 experts believe that Mercedes will once again require someone who can bring experience to the team and maintain composure when it is most needed. Fernando Alonso is a man who knows the F1 scene like no other. His adaptability, motivation, and courage are just some of the reasons why Mercedes must consider the Spaniard as a Plan B option.

Fernando Alonso on his potential departure

A few months ago, Fernando Alonso spoke to the media about Mercedes as an option for 2025. The Spaniard emphasized that he is in a unique situation. Fernando believes he is in a great position for 2025, but he primarily wants to consider extending his contract with Aston Martin.

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso© Clive Mason / Getty Images Sport
 

That team will be his first choice, and he is not contemplating other options. However, if they fail to reach an agreement, Alonso will consider other options available to him. The most realistic of all options is a move to Mercedes if negotiations with Aston Martin fall through.

It will be interesting to see how the situation unfolds in the next few months. The Spaniard is of interest to many teams, and Aston Martin surely has the imperative to retain a driver of such caliber.

Mercedes Max Verstappen
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