Wolff and Mercedes Formula 1 have found the future Lewis Hamilton – His name is Andrea Kimi Antonelli, he is Italian and at only 14 years old, he has just won the European Karting Championship.
Considered as the future Lewis Hamilton, the young prodigy has made a very good impression this year.
The Mercedes team is keeping a very close eye on the young Andrea Kimi Antonelli, a young go-kart driver who has been part of the Mercedes junior team since the 2019 season.
Moreover, he also shows a real professionalism before taking on each race weekend.
Kimi is currently part of the Kart Republic team led by Dino Chiesa, known in the industry for having been the Team Manager of the two Formula 1 World Champions, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
His future seems to be already mapped out as he will be personally followed by Toto Wolff and Mercedes who will take care of his career in the car, from Formula 4 to Formula 1 if all goes well.
Certainly worth watching the youngster below via the embedded Youtube player.
Antonelli was born in Bologna, Italy, in 2006 and caught the racing bug at the age of nine. He quickly won titles at the wheel of a kart after starting racing in 2014.
In 2015, he won the championship in the Easykart Easy 60 category and took third place in the Trofeo Industrie 60 Mini category the following season. After that, he quickly moved on to the WSK Super Master Series 60 Mini in 2017, placing third again.
2018 was a great season for Antonelli, as he won the WSK Champions Cup 60 Mini category, driving for Energy Corse. He also took part in various other karting competitions, finishing second in the Italian Championship in the 60 Mini category, fifth in the WSK Final Cup and winning the 23° South Garda Winter Cup in the Mini ROK category.
He was officially announced as a member of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport junior team in April 2019, at the age of 12, but Toto Wolff, CEO and director of the team, had been closely watching Andrea Kimi Antonelli’s progress for some time.
Other highlights of 2019 include fifth in the FIA World Karting Championship (OKJ), fourth in the WSK Champions Cup (OK Junior), third in the Italian Championship (OKJ) and second in the SKUSA SuperNationals XXIII (KA100 Junior).
In 2020, Andrea is tackling a number of karting categories in the OK class, including the 25° South Garda Winter Cup, the WSK Super Master Series and the WSK Champions Cup. He also competes in the FIA European and World Karting Championships, also in the OK class.
Gwen Lagrue, driver development advisor for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, has no shortage of compliments for the young Italian.
“Kimi (his nickname) is a phenomenon. He races for Kart Republic, Dino Chiesa’s team, which previously took care of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg about 20 years ago. ” explains Lagrue.
“We were really impressed with him – he is very mature for his young age, very patient and extremely intelligent.
“He is fast, whatever the conditions, and I have never seen him make a stupid mistake. His love and passion for motorsport is obvious and he loves his races like I have never seen him do before.
“The way he runs, overtakes, builds his race weekend is very special and we are really looking forward to see him move to the car. ”