Carlos Sainz Ferrari
Carlos Sainz Ferrari Source: RacingNews365

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team’s desperation to lock in a driver for the second seat for the 2025 season is reaching a breaking point. Team principal Toto Wolff intends to hand out a contract by summer. But the lack of signature options is causing a lengthy delay.

Recently, rumors suggested that impending free agent Carlos Sainz is in talks with Mercedes and that the duo share a mutual interest. However, the junior program protege Andra Kimi Antonelli also strengthened his bid with the F1 test earlier this week. Amid the conundrum, F1 press conference host Tom Clarkson suggested a theory that could block Sainz’s move.


Kimi Antonelli Can Fulfil His Mercedes Dream Through Williams!

Mercedes, Kimi Antonelli
Credit: Mercedes-Benz AG

In an interesting take, F1 press conference host Tom Clarkson suggested a bold theory that could propel 17-year-old teenager Andrea Kimi Antonelli to Mercedes in 2025. Currently, speculations suggest that free agent Carlos Sainz has agreed to terms with the Silver Arrows. However, the talks have stalled due to differences of opinion on the length of the contract. However, Clarkson feels that Antonelli can likely outbid Sainz to secure the prized F1 seat for the upcoming season. Tom Clarkson speculated that with Antonelli turning 18 in August this year, the German outfit could promote him to engine customers Williams Racing for the second half of the ongoing season. And then eventually offer him a full-time contract with Silver Arrows next year.

Notably, the minimum age for drivers to be eligible to debut in F1 is 18 years, and Kimi Antonelli is currently a few months behind. However, after August 20, the age barrier will no longer be a problem for Mercedes. “So could we see Antonelli do the second half of the season at Williams before then getting plugged into the Mercedes next year?” asked Clarkson. Interestingly, Williams Racing is struggling with chassis availability and has clearly prioritized Alex Albon as their no.1 driver. Moreover, with Logan Sergeant unable to make an impact for the past couple of seasons, Williams could agree to let Kimi have space on the team. If this theory pans out, Carlos Sainz can withdraw from the race effective immediately. With Audi and Red Bull pursuing the star Ferrari driver aggressively, it’s perhaps in Sainz’s best interest to drop the Mercedes pursuit.

Italian Protege Kimi Antonelli Finally Tests An F1 Car

Mercedes, Kimi Antonelli
Source: Susie Wolff via Mercedes F1 Team’s Twitter

Ahead of the crucial Mercedes decision, leading prospect and frontrunner for the second seat, Andrea Kimi Antonelli, tested an F1 car for the first time in his career at the Red Bull Ring earlier this week. The test is believed to have been smooth, and Kimi’s run was impressive. Notably, the teenager will undergo another round of testing later in the week.

Toto Wolff spoke about Kimi Antonelli’s career trajectory and revealed that he feels proud to see the teenager rising up the ranks so quickly. He first met the protege when he was just a kid, and seeing him driving an F1 car is surely a surreal moment for the Mercedes team principal.

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