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Andrea Kimi Antonelli

Driver Profile: Andrea Kimi Antonelli – The Journey to Formula 2 Success

Andrea Kimi Antonelli 2024 FIA Formula 2 Championship Bahrain
ANTONELLI Andrea Kimi (ita), Prema Racing, Dallara F2 2024, portrait during the 1st round of the 2024 FIA Formula 2 Championship from February 29 to March 2, 2023 on the Bahrain International Circuit, in Sakhir, Bahrain - Licenced to Auto.Racing by | 2WNHA1M

Andrea Kimi Antonelli was born in Italy in the summer of 2006 and had racing in his blood, with his father Marco being a driver who previously raced in the European Touring Car Championship and now is a team owner in Italian F4. Marco gave his son the middle name Kimi in honour of Kimi Räikkönen, the last driver to win the F1 World Championship with his favourite team, Ferrari.

Antonelli began karting at the age of seven, and in 2015 he won his first big title in the Easy 60 class of the Easykart International Grand Final. After some solid results in Italian races, his next major titles came three years later in 2018, when he won three titles including the WSK Champions Cup in the 60 Mini class. In 2019, Antonelli signed with the Mercedes Junior Team at the age of 12, and after moving up to the OKJ class he won various titles, including the WSK Euro Series and Finals Cup.

2020 saw him move to the OK class, in which he became the CIK-FIA European Champion, a title which has also been won by several current top F1 drivers, including Max Verstappen and Lando Norris. He also took part in the World Championship that year, in which he was involved in a big accident which saw him suffer fractures.

Antonelli retained his European karting title in 2021, and in March of that year, he tested a single-seater car for the first time. After turning 15 later in the year, he made his single-seater racing debut in the fifth round of Italian F4 with Prema. His first podiums came at the three races at Monza, where he picked up a second place and two third places, seeing him finish 10th in the standings, despite starting under half of the season’s races.

He remained with Prema in 2022 and managed to win titles in both the Italian and ADAC F4 Championships, as well as at the FIA Motorsport Games, despite breaking his wrist in a practice session. He left F4 with a total of 26 wins, the second most of any driver, and in 2023 he won Formula Regional titles in both the Middle East and European Championships.

In 2023 he also took part in two Italian GT races, winning one and finishing third in the other. After bypassing F3, he moved straight up to F2 in 2024. In the ten races so far, Antonelli has managed to score points on seven occasions, seeing him sit sixth in the standings.

During his maiden F2 campaign, he had his first F1 tests with Mercedes at the Red Bull Ring and Imola. Antonelli, who is now 17, is very likely to be racing in Formula One next year after a spot at Mercedes opened up due to Lewis Hamilton’s upcoming move to Ferrari. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said that his team are focussing on Antonelli instead of more experienced stars, such as Carlos Sainz.

Therefore, many expect the Italian wonderkid to be racing alongside George Russell in 2025. There were even rumours earlier on in the year that he could replace Williams driver Logan Sargeant midway through the year, but such a move is yet to materialise.

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