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F1 News: Wolff On Pressure On Mercedes Junior Antonelli - "Guilty Of Talking Too Much"

Toto Wolff claims he may have talked too much about Andrea Kimi Antonelli, putting more of a spotlight on him.

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has expressed concerns that his previous comments may have unduly accelerated the spotlight on junior driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli, amidst growing speculation about his future role within the team.

Key Takeaways:

  • Wolff acknowledges the possibility of having spoken too prematurely about Antonelli's future, adding unnecessary pressure on the young talent.
  • Antonelli's remarkable leap from karting to Formula 2, without competing in Formula 3, marks him as a significant figure in Mercedes' long-term plans.
  • Following Hamilton's announcement of joining Ferrari, Wolff emphasises a more contemplative approach towards filling the upcoming vacancy in the Mercedes lineup.
Toto Wolff - Mercedes

Mercedes Press Image

The conversation around potential driver line-ups is never-ending in Formula 1, particularly in the wake of Lewis Hamilton's surprising switch to Ferrari for the next season. Toto Wolff has shared reflections on his comments about Andrea Kimi Antonelli, a rising star in Mercedes' junior ranks, suggesting that his earlier remarks may have brought undue attention to the young driver.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who has made a jump directly to Formula 2 from karting, bypassing the traditional Formula 3 stint, has been the subject of considerable speculation regarding his potential inclusion in Mercedes' future plans. Wolff commented:

“I’ve said that we need to look long-term also, and on the driver line-up not in one year but in three, five or 10, and with that perspective I just wanted to keep the options open and with all the consequences that could potentially bring,” Wolff stated to

Andrea Kimi Antonelli

The departure of Hamilton to Ferrari has cast a spotlight on Mercedes' future driver selections, with Wolff expressing a desire for a thoughtful and unhurried approach. 

“But we have such a love affair with Lewis and Mercedes and how well we’ve done that nothing’s going to put any shadow on this. We want to end on a high and we will be giving it all this season.”

Addressing the potential timing for Antonelli's F1 debut, Wolff shared:

“I’m probably guilty in having talked too much about Kimi, because he’s just 17, he jumped F3, he’s going into F2.

“He needs to learn, he needs to be more, let’s say, in the shadows to be able to develop, understand what to do and whether he’s going to be in Formula 1 if everything goes to plan, but I don’t know if that is next year or whether it’s with us or someone else.”

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