Toto Wolff insists Mercedes does not want Andrea Kimi Antonelli to be promoted to Formula 1 before his 18th birthday, despite a Williams request for special dispensation for the Italian


Antonelli’s impressive form in junior categories – winning a pair of F4 titles in 2022 and two Formula Regional championships last year – led to him jumping up to F2 as a 17-year-old this season. With Williams team principal James Vowles evaluating options for the next two years for his driver lineup, the FIA confirmed a request was made for Antonelli to be allowed to race in F1 prior to his 18th birthday in late August, but Wolff says that’s not a call that Mercedes is backing.

“We haven’t asked for the dispensation,” Wolff told SiriusXM. “I think Kimi needs to concentrate on his F2 campaign and the testing he does with us, that’s the most important. (The testing) was good, but early days, there’s no real comparison.”

After admitting that Max Verstappen is key to the driver market in 2025, Wolff says a decision on the second seat at Mercedes for next year is still some time away, and wants a more immediate focus to be on finding performance after a challenging few years for the team.

“We see gains,” Wolff said after introducing a floor upgrade to Miami. “Our car is still so difficult to tune that it’s almost hit and miss, but we know what it is. We are bringing parts, it’s not a matter of weeks or races, but we are getting there.

“If it’s not us winning, I’d like the Mercedes-powered team to win, it shows that our power unit is competitive. McLaren was 16th or 18th or so last year, they were so far off the pace, and in less than 12 months they have turned it around. So that’s good for us to see, it’s a good inspiration.

“We have plenty of bits that are coming all the time. It’s not like a miraculous 0.2s gain, but more learning and more bits are coming.”