F1 News: Toto Wolff All But Confirms Kimi Antonelli For 2025 Seat

Antonelli could well have a seat in Mercedes for 2025.
May 4, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (44) during F1 qualifying for Miami Grand Prix at Miami International Autodrome. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
May 4, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (44) during F1 qualifying for Miami Grand Prix at Miami International Autodrome. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Toto Wolff, Team Principal of Mercedes, has definitively shut down the rumors linking Carlos Sainz to Mercedes for the 2025 Formula 1 season. Instead, Wolff’s comments have fueled speculation about a new direction for Mercedes, as the team appears set to embrace a younger lineup, showcasing rising talent Kimi Antonelli.

Wolff’s focus is clearly set on the future, evident from his pointed remarks, quoted by F1inGenerale.com:

“We just want to focus on Kimi, this is our future, the young drivers.” This strategic pivot hints strongly at Antonelli pairing up with current Mercedes driver George Russell in 2025. Antonelli, who has already made a mark during his test sessions in Imola and Silverstone, was at the center of rumors citing his pace over both Russell and Mick Schumacher. Wolff, however, dispelled these as exaggerations: “Some claims that Kimi was faster than George and much faster than Mick are absolutely nonsense. All three led with different agendas,” he clarified.

“Both (Kimi and Mick) completed the program we gave them, and the performances were exactly what we expected.

“All three were equally fast. George was by far the fastest and that's how he should be, but we executed our plans. It wasn't about setting fast times.”

In parallel, the conversation around Carlos Sainz has shifted gears, with James Vowles of Williams expressing interest in the seasoned driver, indicating a larger restructuring within Williams itself:

“Williams is not the same as three years ago. And by definition, the fact that we spoke with Carlos shows that we have changed our approach.” Vowles’ comments suggest an ambitious stride. “We want the world to realize that we are here, that we are serious and that we are investing to return to the front lines.”

Vowles was transparent about the driver’s autonomy in decision-making, underscoring the new appeal of Williams: “The world is changing, and a driver like Carlos is very important in this sense regarding the general picture of our situation. Of course, the difference is that he has the choice to come here or not. The choice is up to him. I think it's an easy decision to come here. But he has to be the one to take it.”

As the driver market continues to ebb and flow, Wolff’s comments have set a definitive course for Mercedes, signaling a generational shift that might just see Kimi Antonelli ascend as a central figure for the team's future aspirations. Meanwhile, Williams’ pursuit of Sainz reflects a broader paradigm shift within their camp, aiming to recapture their former glory days through strategic acquisitions and robust planning. As such, the Formula 1 paddock remains abuzz with anticipation about how these strategies will unfold over the coming seasons.


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Alex Harrington

ALEX HARRINGTON

Alex is the editor-in-chief of F1 editorial. He fell in love with F1 at the young age of 7 after hearing the scream of naturally aspirated V10s echo through his grandparents' lounge. That year he watched as Michael Schumacher took home his fifth championship win with Ferrari, and has been unable to look away since.