Mercedes junior Antonelli skips Formula 3 to make Formula 2 debut in 2024

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Highly-rated Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli will jump up the single-seater ladder next year to race in Formula 2

The Formula Regional Europe champion will bypass the typical progression into Formula 3 and race in Formula 1’s leading single-seater series with Prema. Antonelli turned 17 this August, which is the minimum age for competing in F2.

His ascendancy through the junior categories has been rapid. Antonelli picked up three podiums from his first nine races in Formula 4 towards the end of 2021, then claimed three crowns last year. He was Italian F4 champion with 13 wins from 20 races, ADAC F4 champion with nine wins from 15 races, and went unbeaten in the single-event Motorsport Games F4 Cup. He also did eight races in F4 United Arab Emirates, winning twice and finishing on the podium on three other occasions.

Antonelli stepped up to Formula Regional and first conquered the Middle East championship with three wins helping him take the title by 40 points. He followed that up in FREC, clinching the title with a double-header round to spare. He won five races and clinched the teams’ title for Prema by passing Nikhil Bohra for sixth place on the final lap of the season yesterday.

The logical next step for Antonelli after conquering the fourth tier of single-seater racing would be to step up to the third tier. Instead he will head straight to F2 where he will likely be the youngest driver on the grid and almost certainly the only driver without any F3-level racing experience.

His team mate at Prema is expected to be Oliver Bearman, who was a double F4 champion the year before Antonelli and came third in FIA F3 last year. He is fighting to finish second in the F2 standings as a rookie, and the Ferrari junior. Bearman will make his debut in an official F1 practice session with Haas on Friday at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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3 comments on “Mercedes junior Antonelli skips Formula 3 to make Formula 2 debut in 2024”

  1. All these rules about ages introduced out of fear of a now 3-time champion before he ever drove his first race, at least this talent doesn’t have to waste a year in F3 when he doesn’t have to. He’ll be F2 champion next year, I hope Toto already has that F1 drive lined up for him in 2025.

  2. Imagine Williams going from Stroll, Latifi and Sargeant to this guy. They’ll have a fit.

  3. Exciting news! I guess it will take him a couple of years to acclimatise before he can win the championship but let’s see!

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