Ex-F1 champion claims Toto Wolff’s “ego” behind rumored Kimi Antonelli Mercedes move

Andrea Kimi Antonelli remains the top candidate to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for 2025.

Ex-F1 champion claims Toto Wolff’s “ego” behind rumored Kimi Antonelli Mercedes move

Toto Wolff (L), Kimi Antonelli (R) (images via IMAGO)

Lewis Hamilton‘s move to Ferrari has opened up a vacancy at Mercedes. Multiple solid driver options are highly eager to acquire the coveted seat in F1. However, the team principal Toto Wolff isn’t rushing into a decision. Amidst the plethora of options, Andrea Kimi Antonelli remained one of the prime candidates for the team.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli was previously considered to be the ‘prime candidate’ for a Mercedes seat in 2025. Even Toto Wolff accepted that the 17-year-old was in the ‘strongest position’ to replace Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton. Upon this, Ex-champion, Jacques Villeneuve has highlighted the real reason for Antonelli’s consideration.

Villeneuve mentioned that Wolff did not consider any other options than Kimi Antonelli. The latter is extremely confident that the Italian driver will join the German carmaker in the coming season. The major reason behind this was Toto Wolff’s ego about making the right decision. The 52-year-old wants to show the world that he made the right decision to choose him when he was only 12 years old.

Toto Wolff does not consider any other solution other than Antonelli. The door is closed, Mercedes will be Antonelli's team for the future. Toto Wolff's ego also played an important role in this decision: he wants to show the world that he was right to have chosen it when he was only 12 years old.
Jacques Villeneuve said, as reported by formulapassion.it

Jacques Villeneuve claims Toto Wolff saw a ‘world champion’ in Kimi Antonelli

Kimi Antonelli was quick to rise to success after joining the junior karting league. The current F2 driver was even supposed to debut in F1 before hitting the age of 18 as requested by Williams. Hence, Antonelli has great prospects in joining the pinnacle of motorsport alongside Mercedes or Williams. Villeneuve further revealed other thoughts of Wolff regarding the same.

george russell and toto wolff
George Russell and Toto Wolff (via IMAGO)

The 1997 world champion admitted that the Austrian principal saw a world champion in the prodigy. This was one of the many reasons to even consider Antonelli to join Formula 1 in the coming season. However, Antonelli would have to be the second driver behind George Russell as the latter has been backed by Wolff to be the lead driver in Hamilton’s absence.

He [Toto Wolff] wants to show that even then he saw in him [Kimi Antonelli] a future world champion
Jacques Villeneuve added.

Mercedes’ current degrading form might see a massive change after the addition of Kimi Antonelli. The Italian driver could be a great fit for the team, keeping in mind his young age. Hence, the final decision will be put on Toto Wolff to reveal by the coming season. The team has maintained utter privacy over their options to replace Hamilton in the coming season.

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