Nico Rosberg Shares His Opinion on Kimi Antonelli as a Future Option for Mercedes

"Antonelli is definitely a superstar of the future."- Rosberg said.

by Sead Dedovic
Nico Rosberg Shares His Opinion on Kimi Antonelli as a Future Option for Mercedes
© Jutta Prechtel - Pool/Getty Images News

Kimi Antonelli is still a name associated with Mercedes. The 17-year-old Italian could become a Mercedes driver from next year onwards, already attracting the attention of experts and fans of the sport. After Lewis Hamilton leaves, a vacant spot will remain. There are several candidates to succeed him, and Antonelli is mentioned as one of those who could inherit Hamilton's position. 

Nico Rosberg, a former F1 champion, commented on the potential engagement of Antonelli and what it could mean for the team's future. The 38-year-old German considers Antonelli a superstar but believes it might be too early for him to appear on the F1 scene.

"Antonelli is definitely a superstar of the future but unfortunately timing-wise it's really too early for him, and especially too early for Toto to be able to make a decision on Antonelli,"- Nico Rosberg said, as quoted by Sky Sports.

Antonelli isn't having an ideal season in F2, but Mercedes executives believe he will improve his form and make a breakthrough. Rosberg emphasized that if this young driver wants a chance on the big stage, it will be necessary for him to dominate in F2. If he fails to do so, Rosberg expects him to compete for a team like Williams. 

His future is quite intriguing at the moment, considering that Antonelli is attracting attention with his qualities, but on the other hand, some are not optimistic due to the young Italian's age.

"He needs to wait until somewhat later in the year as we see how Antonelli does in F2 also, because he does need a really strong season in F2 to make it a possibility for him to go straight to Mercedes.

Otherwise, if anything, some time at Williams or a team like that would make sense."- Rosberg continued.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli
Andrea Kimi Antonelli© Robert Cianflone/Getty Images Sport

Toto Wolff has spoken several times about the future of this Italian, considering it might be too early to give him an opportunity. Mercedes is not a team that wants to wait for a driver's progress and be patient in the future. The German team is eager to achieve results immediately, and with George Russell and another driver, they intend to return to where they were for years: at the top! 

Antonelli will only turn 18 in August this year and still doesn't have a super license. Rumors surfaced about ten days ago that one of the teams had applied for Antonelli to be allowed to compete in F1. The Mercedes boss denied that it was his team, emphasizing that the young Italian must primarily focus on his F2 adventure before being ready for a breakthrough.

"It doesn't do him any favours because he needs to concentrate on his F2 campaign. He's doing lots of testing for us in order to bring him up to speed, and I think this decision of the second driver is weeks if not months away," he said.

Toto Wolff on his team

Toto Wolff explained that they're in a rebuilding phase, indicating that they need to adapt to the current regulations and change their approach without abandoning their essence values. He suggested that rebuilding could involve either giving a young driver a chance with less immediate pressure or opting for a more experienced driver who can help improve their current performance situation.

The Mercedes boss is aware of the problems they're facing this season, considering that notable changes are necessary. He has previously emphasized that his priority is to address the current season's issues before thinking about the future of the team and the driver who will succeed Hamilton. 

Toto Wolff
Toto Wolff© Bryn Lennon/Getty Images Sport

Mercedes has been taking steps backward from season to season, allowing Red Bull to establish dominance. They don't want to see such a scenario in the upcoming seasons and are prepared to take all necessary measures to position themselves at the top.

Toto Wolff has previously spoken about Kimi Antonelli as an option for this team, showing his optimism that the young Italian could achieve great things. The Mercedes boss is pleased to see the 17-year-old Italian on the big stage and hopes for a similar situation in F1. Antonelli is a product of this team. Mercedes executives noticed this young driver when he was just 11 years old, aware of Kimi's qualities. Much has changed in 6 years, but the Italian's desire remains the same as when he was a boy.

“I’m really keen and happy to see him in a Formula 1 car. He’s been with us since he was 11. I have a picture of him standing next to me on the centre console as a baby boy in go-karting, and now to witness that development into a Formula 1 driver is something that I’m really proud of.”-Toto Wolff concluded.

Nico Rosberg Mercedes