Not Kimi Antonelli, Ex-F1 Driver Suggests Mercedes’ Child Prodigy’s Teammate as Lewis Hamilton Replacement

Not Kimi Antonelli, Ex-F1 Driver Suggests Mercedes’ Child Prodigy’s Teammate as Lewis Hamilton Replacement
Credits: IMAGO / NurPhoto, IMAGO Sven Simon

Andrea Kimi Antonelli has been listed as one of the probable candidates to replace Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. However, former F1 driver Johnny Herbert urges the Silver Arrows to poach Oliver Bearman from the hands of their rivals.

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“He (Bearman) has proven that he can cope with one of the highest pressure seats in F1 if not the highest, in the Ferrari and dealt with everything thrown at him,” said Herbert as per Crash.Net. The 18-year-old attracted the limelight after having an excellent cameo with Ferrari during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix earlier this season.

With Carlos Sainz unavailable due to his surgery, the young F2 driver was an instant replacement. And definitely, he surpassed the expectations which has increased his prospects in F1. And for Herbert, “He would be a perfect fit (at Mercedes). It would be brilliant to see.”

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However, Bearman is not the only name that has been suggested by Herbert. For him, even Sainz would be a good fit at Mercedes. The Spaniard was axed by Ferrari for 2025 to make place for Hamilton. And as of now, he is yet to announce his new destination.

Right now, definitely, Sainz would be the most attractive prospect for any team looking to hire a driver. There are also rumors of him joining Red Bull. And since there is an academy link between the two parties, it could be very plausible.

What if Andrea Kimi Antonelli is ready?

Surely for Oliver Bearman, driving for Mercedes as George Russell’s teammate would be fancier than whatever Ferrari could offer the F2 star for 2025 with the Italian outfit already having confirmed their driver line-up. However, Andrea Kimi Antonelli has an opportunity to deny that option to Bearman by standing taller than him in F2 this year.

Moreover, if Antonelli does well, there is a certain chance that he gets pushed into a Mercedes seat. However, currently, Toto Wolff doesn’t want to overthink about it. On the contrary, he recently felt at fault for adding all the hype around Antonelli even before the Italian could get a chance to prove whether he was ready.

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Meanwhile, with Sainz and then Fernando Alonso on the radar for Mercedes, Antonelli would have tough competition. But one candidate has been missed throughout this article, and that is Max Verstappen.

In recent events, Red Bull boss Christian Horner’s investigation reportedly triggered a power struggle at Milton-Keynes, with Verstappen rumored to potentially leave the team. Nevertheless, there would be a clearer picture once the season develops during the summer. That’s when the future of the grid and driver lineups are sealed.

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