Lewis Hamilton Win Was ‘Inspiring’ for His Speculated Successor Kimi Antonelli; Claims Toto Wolff

Lewis Hamilton Win Was ‘Inspiring’ for His Speculated Successor Kimi Antonelli; Claims Toto Wolff
Credits: IMAGO / PanoramiC |

L: Kimi Antonelli R: Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has been downbeat after losing the 2021 championship as Mercedes have failed to provide a competitive car. And this season, Russell has mostly led the team following Hamilton’s Ferrari announcement. Nonetheless, the 39-year-old finally rose to the occasion and won the British GP ending his 30 months of drought for race wins. Toto Wolff stated that Hamilton’s win was also inspiring for his potential successor Kimi Antonelli.

“It’s in a way, I don’t know, at this moment where you see, the greatest British driver checking out with us, at the British Grand Prix, in the garage, you have this young Italian [Kimi Antonelli] that hasn’t got a driving license even, that was watching that scene”, said Wolff according to GP Blog.

Explaining how Hamilton’s win would’ve inspired Antonelli, seeing how much a home win meant, Wolff added, “And at the end, he thought, ‘I want to be that one day’. Maybe not here [at Silverstone], maybe [at] Monza.”

Antonelli is reported to be Hamilton’s replacement at Mercedes. Wolff missed the chance to sign Max Verstappen back in 2014 but doesn’t want to miss out on the Italian prodigy. The F2 rookie has been testing with the Brackley team since the start of this season. The Mercedes CEO is eager to get Antonelli in his car as soon as possible.

However, it might be too early for the 17-year-old, who hasn’t even completed a full year in F2. Jumping straight away to a team as big as Mercedes might not be the right move. Many pundits recommended that Antonelli should join a smaller team like Williams or have another year in F2.

The Mercedes boss has also stated that he’s not in a hurry to make the announcement as Verstappen is still believed to be an option for replacing Hamilton.

Wolff is waiting on Max Verstappen to confirm the 2025 Mercedes driver lineup

Wolff, to this date, regrets not signing Verstappen when he first came into the F1 scene. Amid all the Antonelli chatter, the constant speculation of Verstappen leaving Red Bull for Mercedes continues to make the headlines.

Christian Horner and Toto Wolff have been having a back-and-forth around Verstappen’s Red Bull exit speculations. The Mercedes CEO suggested that the Dutchman moving is still possible while Horner denied it and suggested that Wolff should get Jos Verstappen if he wants a ‘Verstappen’ in his car.

A few months ago, the Austrian boss confirmed how Mercedes doesn’t have a fast enough car to lure Verstappen. However, since the recent upgrades to the W15, the Brackley outfit is back on the front once again. Wolff believes that this performance may be good enough to make Verstappen think about the opportunity.

While a move is possible, the F1 community needs to wait and see what Red Bull does in terms of performance upgrades in the upcoming races.

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