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Antonelli Mercedes F1 Testing

Antonelli Set for Mercedes 2022 F1 Car Testing Program

27/02/2024

Despite F1 test restrictions, teams can use two-year-old cars, enabling Kimi Antonelli’s extensive testing with Mercedes’ W13. Mick Schumacher might be more likely to test a McLaren in F1 this year than an Alpine or a Mercedes.

The former Haas F1 driver is once again the official Mercedes F1 reserve driver in 2024, but he will also return to racing in Hypercar, in the World Endurance Championship, and at Le Mans for Alpine.

However, Alpine boss Bruno Famin has downplayed the likelihood of F1 tests for the German with Alpine F1.

“It wouldn’t work at all. We already have a reserve driver in Jack Doohan. Mick is the Mercedes reserve driver in F1,” he said during the Sakhir tests.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, however, has a new young favorite to place: Kimi Antonelli.

Although only 17 years old, he is seen as one of the main contenders to replace Lewis Hamilton next year.

Despite restrictions on F1 testing, teams are allowed to field two-year-old cars, meaning Antonelli will participate in an extensive program with Mercedes’ 2022 car (the W13, the first ground effect F1 of this era) later this year.

“It won’t happen before the end of summer,” Wolff explained, referring to the fact that drivers cannot obtain their mandatory FIA super license for it before the age of 18.

“But we will conduct an extensive testing program with him and then see if he can be ready for 2025 or 2026. Or if a different situation arises.”

“The current driver market is also incredibly tight as very strong drivers become available. We are looking at it and there will be a first assessment after Melbourne.”

As for Schumacher, who hasn’t given up on his dream of returning to F1, he still doesn’t know what program Mercedes will assign him on track.

“It was agreed that I would drive in Formula 1 if it was necessary and possible. There are notably the in-season Pirelli tests, if I am available and the regular drivers do not participate.”

“I am following everything closely, but ultimately, I can only put myself forward again for an F1 seat thanks to good performances in WEC. So, that remains my priority.”

Even if the door to F1 testing is closed at Alpine and uncertain at Mercedes, another remains open at McLaren, which will also run an F1 car in 2022 specification for private testing this year.

“If Mick needs kilometers to reacquaint himself with Formula 1, we can offer him a car,” confirms Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren.

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