17-year-old prodigy MIGHT pull off a Max Verstappen-like F1 debut as Mercedes’ pick to replace Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton

After 11 years at Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton has finally decided to activate an exit clause in his contract with the Silver Arrows and take his leave at 39 years of age. The Briton has picked Ferrari to be the perfect place for the ‘next chapter’ of his life. But in his wake, Lewis will be leaving the seat at Mercedes, and it will be up for grabs for many interested candidates. While there have been rumors that two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso is a particular favorite to become Lewis’ replacement at Toto Wolff‘s team, there is a Mercedes junior who has shown some promise too.

17-year-old Andrea Kimi Antonelli is truly a wonderkid who seldom disappoints. With innumerable karting Championship titles to his name, Antonelli has already captured widespread attention with his great performances in the junior categories. He was signed by Mercedes to join their junior programme in 2019, but according to Toto Wolff, he has been ‘under the Mercedes wing’ ever since 2012, when Kimi would have been only 7 year old.

Antonelli’s debut in Formula 2 is set to happen in 2024 with Prema Racing, as he will be skipping F3 altogether. He already has won the Italian and German Formula 4 championships in 2022 and the Formula Regional European Championship and Formula Regional Middle East Championship last year. Judging by the way, Antonelli’s career only seems to go up and up, and it would not be a surprise if he steps into F1 in 2025 to take Lewis’ spot just like Max Verstappen debuted at 17 way back in 2015.

Lewis Hamilton has given his statement ever since Mercedes announced the end of their contract

Having failed to win a single Grand Prix in the last two years, Lewis Hamilton has somewhat fallen back in the F1 career race. And at 39 years of age, the Briton cannot afford to waste his time and talent at any team where his growth is not apparent. Perhaps this is the reason why Lewis took the exit from Mercedes as soon as he could despite having signed a contract extension with them.

Now, Lewis is all-set to join Ferrari and don the famous red outfit from 2025 onwards. But as Mercedes confirmed the news in their own statement, Lewis Hamilton’s quotes were also mentioned in their official website.

. Lewis Hamilton said, via Mercedes AMG F1 page.

In other news, Carlos Sainz announced the end of his run with Ferrari that had lasted for three years. After leaving McLaren in 2021, the Spaniard had entered the Maranello outfit with huge promises to keep. He surpassed his teammate Charles Leclerc in the World Championship Standings in his debut season with the Scuderia. And then, he went on to become the only non-Red Bull driver to win a Grand Prix in Formula 1 last year. Now, he has only one season left with Ferrari, and he has vowed to impress the Tifosi with his ‘everything’.

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