Future F1 Star? Kimi Antonelli Beats George Russell in Private Testing

According to headlines from Italian media, George Russell was outpaced by Kimi Antonelli in a private test

by Sead Dedovic
Future F1 Star? Kimi Antonelli Beats George Russell in Private Testing
© Emmanuele Ciancaglini/Getty Images Sport

Kimi Antonelli seems to be a topic for some time, as he is mentioned as one of the main candidates for the Mercedes seat. The 17-year-old Italian is a big hope for Mercedes, although there is skepticism whether the team's executives will actually give him a chance in the near future. Toto Wolff's (Mercedes boss) statements do not give optimism that the Italian will become part of this team. 

Wolff believes that Kimi needs some more time to mature and get the right opportunity. However, recent events could change the Austrian's opinion. 

According to headlines from Italian media, George Russell was outpaced by Kimi Antonelli in a private test. With Lewis Hamilton leaving the team he spent his best days in from the next season, there are several candidates to become George Russell's teammate. 

Antonelli seems to stand out as the main candidate. Italian media report that the Italian was great against Mick Schumacher, but few expected him to 'outshine' Russell as well. Italians write that Antonelli's time was faster on long-run simulations, and they were almost identical in qualifying trim. 

If such results do not change the opinions of Mercedes executives, it is unlikely that anything else will influence them. 

Already, many experts and important figures in the world of F1 have nothing but praise for the 17-year-old. 

James Allison, the technical director of Mercedes, has highlighted that the Italian is a great driver and has shown maturity that seasoned F1 drivers do not have.

"He's just a young, enthusiastic driver.

Very, very fast and metronomic in his pace. He has not been in an F1 car until recently but made it look like he'd been in one for ages within a lap or two. He came at this generation of cars, the ground effect cars, with an open mind."- he said, as reported by EXPRESS.

James Allison
James Allison© Dan Mullan/Getty Images Sport

Allison is particularly impressed by how much Antonelli feels things and recognizes the strengths and weaknesses of the car, telling engineers what needs to be changed. Mercedes executives noticed immediately how mature the 17-year-old is for big things. The question is whether this, in turn, can change their opinion when it comes to the future.

“He feels all the same things that you'd expect him to feel, but he's not sort of polluted by the previous cars. So he just takes them as they are and tells us what he is feeling as weaknesses and strengths.

He lets the engineers work to try to improve those things... he looks like a very promising young driver."- he continued.

George Russell on Kimi Antonelli

George Russell spoke about Kimi in superlatives a few days ago, considering him a fantastic driver. The Briton is aware that the 17-year-old is part of F2, but he has no doubt that his future is in F1. George Russell wouldn't mind if the Italian were his teammate, but neither would anyone else. It seems that George isn't too concerned about it.

"I think Kimi is a fantastic driver. Obviously, he's racing in Formula 2 this year but he's no doubt going to be an F1 driver in the future. He's a fellow junior driver as well, coming through the ranks as I did with the team.

I think it makes for a great opportunity for Mercedes to build into the future but as I said before, I welcome anybody as my team-mate. I feel like I have a pretty good team-mate right now as it is. I welcome anybody."- George Russell said.

George Russell
George Russell© Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images Sport

Lewis Hamilton on Kimi Antonelli and Carlos Sainz as options for the vacant seat

Carlos Sainz is considered by many to be one of the main candidates for the vacant seat at Mercedes. Opinions about him are divided, and the legend of this team, Lewis Hamilton, has decided to share his opinion.

Hamilton expressed his admiration for Carlos as a great driver and believes he would bring a positive impact to any team he joins. He admitted not knowing Toto's plans but personally thinks bringing on a young talent would be the right move. If he were in charge, he would likely choose Kimi for the role.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton© Robert Cianflone/Getty Images Sport

The fact that Hamilton considers Antonelli the best option speaks volumes about the potential the young driver has. However, Hamilton won't be someone who will have a say in this matter, even though his opinion may be important to all.

Antonelli can be happy knowing that his significantly older colleagues have such words of praise for him. The 17-year-old will give his all to secure the vacant seat, and we'll see if his dreams will become reality.

George Russell