Kimi Antonelli expected to join Formula 2 with Prema in 2024

Kimi Antonelli will reportedly join Formula 2 with Prema in 2024, joining the Italian team on his road to F1. The 17-year-old is a very highly rated prospect, with Mercedes investing in his development and – per recent information – accelerating his rise.

Unlike their notorious Austrian rivals, the Silver Arrows are very selective with those who enter their academy.

Pascal Wehrlein, Esteban Ocon and George Russell are all former Mercedes juniors who all – albeit to varying degrees – secured a place on the Formula 1 grid.

Only two drivers, Frederik Vesti and Paul Aron, from the Mercedes programme, are competing in F2 or F3. Therefore, any driver in their roster is carefully selected and highly regarded.

No risks or gambles are taken by Toto Wolff’s personnel in this department.

Given Antonelli has spent 2023 competing in the Formula Regional Championship, a decision to promote him to Formula 2 demonstrates immense trust in his abilities.

The hype surrounding Antonelli is understandable, given the 40-point gap he enjoys over a hugely talented Formula Regional roster.

Few drivers can boast such an impressive junior career, although the true test is yet to come.

If reports and paddock whispers are accurate, the young Italian will join Prema next season. On paper, this would be a logical choice, given the team’s expertise in nurturing drivers on the road to F1.

Mercedes junior Frederik Vesti and Ferrari junior Oliver Bearman currently occupy the Prema seats.

Considering Bearman’s performance as a rookie (alongside Vesti’s Championship contention) it seems plausible the Silver Arrows will swap one driver for another.

Toto Wolff seems eager to fast-track the progression of a driver who, providing he performs, will have all the resources to join Formula 1.

However, next year will almost certainly be a learning year for the 17-year-old. Antonelli’s rookie season could still be fascinating, providing an insight into his adaptability.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang