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Mercedes Junior Antonelli Moves to Formula 2; Stays at Prema

Written by Jasmin Low, Edited by Juan Arroyo

Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli will make his Formula 2 debut in 2024 with Italian outfit Prema Racing, marking a huge step in the Italian driver’s career.
Credit: Prema Racing

Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli will make his Formula 2 debut in 2024 with Italian outfit Prema Racing, marking a huge step in the Italian driver’s career.

It is a one-of-a-kind move for Antonelli, who will leapfrog from the Formula Regional European Championship to Formula 2. He will skip Formula 3 entirely despite committing to his FREC campaign late in 2022 for the purpose of preparing for the formerly mentioned series. A delighted Antonelli understood the significance and the magnitude of this move, and was understanding of the challenge at hand: "I'm very happy for this opportunity," said the young Italian prodigy.

"From Formula Regional to Formula 2, it will be a huge jump. I'm aware that it will be very challenging because the level is really high there.

"It will be a new car, for me and the others as well, but it's still going to be tough


"I don't want to set expectations, I will try to learn as much as possible in testing to be ready for the first race, have fun as always, and do a good job.

"I'm delighted to continue with Prema as I started my single-seater career with them and they are my second family. I love working with them."

Antonelli is also a Mercedes Junior; Image Credits - Mercedes AMG F1 Team

Antonelli becomes the first driver to be announced on the 2024 Formula 2 grid, and this announcement also comes in the backdrop of Prema announcing the first driver on the 2024 F3 grid, retaining Dino Beganovic from last season.

The rationale for the decision comes from the introduction of Formula 2’s new car, unveiled at Monza in August. It is thought that the 2024 grid’s inexperience with the new machinery will level the playing field for Antonelli. The Italian driver would adapt to the Dallara F2 2024 at the same time as his competitors, as opposed to losing out on a year of experience by racing Formula 3.

The 17-year-old has one of the most impressive resumes in recent junior series history, thus Mercedes have concluded he is ready for Formula 2. His record includes winning multiple karting championships—including victories at the FIA Karting European Championship in consecutive years; both the Italian and German F4 championships; and the Formula Regional Middle Eastern Championship.

The Italian recently added the FIA Motorsport Games' F4 Cup to his resume, capping off another excellent year that saw him win the FRECA championship with two races to spare. Antonelli will get his first taste of Formula 2 machinery in the post-season test at Abu Dhabi, before the all-new Dallara F2 machinery will be launched in 2024.

Antonelli will continue his relationship with Prema in F2; Image Credit - Diederik van der Laan/Dutch Photo Agency

Team boss Rene Rosin added:

"We are proud to welcome Kimi to our FIA Formula 2 team.

"He has been with us since the very beginning so not only do we know him well, but we are also particularly proud of what he was able to achieve in his first two years full-time in single-seaters.

"Kimi is a gifted racer and a great team player, so we cannot wait to see what the 2024 season will bring and we are focused on helping him to make the step in the smoothest possible way."

The Prema squad has led a number of youngsters to championship glory in the series, such as, Charles Leclerc (2017), Mick Schumacher (2020), and Oscar Piastri (2021). Only time will be able to tell if the Italian team and driver will be taking the championships together at the end of next season, as they continue along the next step of their famous journey together.


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