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Sainz again in Mercedes F1 2025 body as Antonelli “must swim”

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Andrea Kimi Antonelli’s tough begin to his maiden Method 2 marketing campaign has put Carlos Sainz again in rivalry for a Mercedes Method 1 drive subsequent yr alongside George Russell.

Having entered F2 as one of many overwhelming favourites to take the title given his impeccable junior credentials, Antonelli has struggled with the step as much as the rung under F1, significantly as his Prema squad took longer than most groups to get dialled into the new-for-2024 automobile.

The Italian at the moment sits ninth within the championship standings, 20 factors forward of team-mate Ollie Bearman. The Briton has not too long ago been confirmed as a driver for Haas in 2025, regardless of his poor F2 outcomes this time period.

Mercedes continues to be eager to assist Antonelli make the step as much as F1 for 2025, with workforce principal Toto Wolff having beforehand stated that youth was his most popular possibility to switch Lewis Hamilton.

And, though Wolff felt that Antonelli’s type had improved of late, he cited the necessity for the 17-year-old to “carry out in chilly water” and “swim”. The Austrian had advised Mundo Deportivo earlier this week that Sainz was “positively nonetheless an possibility” for 2025.

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“The season has been a bit tough [for Antonelli] as a result of total in F2, the 2 haven’t been on the extent, and I believe the workforce recognises that it wasn’t nice,” Wolff stated.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Prema Racing

Picture by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

“However final weekend was, was fairly good. The tempo was there, there have been errors within the getaways in order that’s one thing that Kimi must be taught, that is clear.

“He has quite a lot of stress. He is been talked loads about. He has a junior components and go-karting observe document which is considered one of a sort and has been in a position to tread that because the stress ramps up.

“But it surely’s like his father says, a champion must carry out in chilly water and must swim. So they’re very clear about that.

“The motive force market in the meanwhile is sort of a dynamic, attention-grabbing factor. A number of the drivers have extra choices, and a few of the groups have extra choices. It is attention-grabbing. And you understand, it is like Bernie [Ecclestone] stated: final week I had an opinion, this week I’ve a unique one.”

Williams workforce principal James Vowles, who has made his need to lure Sainz to the Grove workforce public data, stated that there was no explicit timeframe to his determination and anticipated to see the ultimate consequence emerge in round two months’ time.

Alex Albon, Williams FW46, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Alex Albon, Williams FW46, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The Briton is understood to be entertaining different drivers as soon as extra because the once-likely prospect of securing Sainz’s signature is starting to look extra tenuous.

“He is a world-class driver, and the choice is not imminent; it isn’t in the present day we have to make it,” Vowles stated.

“What I’ve stated all alongside is definitely the timeline is much less necessary to me. What’s extra necessary is that no matter determination we come to, or the driving force involves, it is about forging a long-term relationship with one another, each see the journey we’re on and wish that to be part of their lives.

“I am pretty positive you may see all this cleared up most likely in September. That is the traditional timesheet, the traditional routine. We’re really simply now going again into what’s a standard schedule the place August is spent with contracts.”

Wolff joked that Vowles at all times had a “Plan B and C” ought to the signing of Sainz not come to move, however Mercedes’ former strategist replied that he was at “Plan Y or Z”, including that “there’s quite a lot of transferring elements to it, greater than the world will see, however it’ll all make sense”.

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