Home Sport Pierre Gasly V/S Kimi Antonelli – Toto Wolff with a Conundrum on His Hands for 2025 and Beyond

Pierre Gasly V/S Kimi Antonelli – Toto Wolff with a Conundrum on His Hands for 2025 and Beyond

by News7

Lewis Hamilton put Mercedes and Toto Wolff in a tough spot. The Brackley outfit, soon after locking their lineup for the upcoming two seasons, now has to dive deep into the ugly tussle of the F1 silly season. Almost the entire grid is out of contract at the end of the 2024 season and even though the teams are spoiled with options, Mercedes will have to fill the gaping hole left by Hamilton. This has forced the boss to answer a few tough questions and he will try to answer the question via Pierre Gasly or Kimi Antonelli.

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Who to sign and how long for? To go for experience or to give a rookie their chance? Someone to challenge the team’s de facto leader George Russell or drive under his wing? Last but not least, does he go for a race winner or world champion? In this piece, we will discuss Toto Wolff’s dilemma of replacing the seven-time world champion by pitting three drivers against each other.


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via Reuters

First on the list is a name that has recently made the raffle and that’s Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman is now peaking at 28 after being part of the circus for seven years since 2017. After failing to make a mark in the first few years, the Frenchman came of age in his second stint with then-AlphaTauri. Gasly was impressive in his first season with Alpine as well. The investment into the French team and its internal overhaul will prove what direction they progress into after the 2024 season.

If Alpine goes on a downward trajectory, Gasly would not want to stick to a team that can’t promise him more silverware. Additionally, Gasly will check a lot of boxes for Toto Wolff. He is a race winner and has the ambition to win regularly. He also will bring out the best from Russell and the two can take Mercedes on the upward trajectory for a few years.

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Gasly is also known to be a team player and gets on with his teammates. A quality not all F1 drivers possess. On the flip side, Gasly would make an excellent paperweight till the next name on the list is primed for the big leagues.

2. Kimi Antonelli

The new sensation and the freshest talk of the town and F2’s newest addition–Kimi Antonelli. The 17-year-old will be driving for Prema Racing in 2024 and he made the jump to F2 after winning the Formula Regional European Championship with Alpine last year. Now, even before he drives his first race in F2, he has enough super license points to be a part of every driver’s dream destination, Formula 1.

In terms of age, he’s still too young but he will come to an eligible age next year. Apart from his availability, there is a lot of hype around the exceptionally talented and successful young Italian. Ex-F1 driver Karun Chandhok gave us some insight into it after a conversation with an engineer at a private test event. The same engineer compared the youngster to reigning world champion Max Verstappen.

Les titres de Kimi Antonelli jusqu’à présent 🤯 :

🏆 2018 WSK Cup
🏆 2019 WSK Super Masters
🏆 2019 Coupe de la Garde du Sud
🏆 2020 WSK Euro
🏆 2020 FIA Karting European
🏆 2021 FIA Karting European
🏆 2022 Italian F4
🏆 2022 ADAC F4
🏆 Formule régionale 2023 Moyen-Orient
🏆… pic.twitter.com/8PEjqBqpZC

— Tristan.OnTrack (@TristanOnTrack) October 15, 2023

After his conversation, Chandhok tweeted, “From everything I hear of Antonelli, he’s pretty damn special. Spoke with the F3 engineers who ran him recently on a private test day. Said he was the best driver in an F3 car since [Max] Verstappen! McLaren gamble with rookie Lewis [Hamilton] in 2007 worked out.” 

Antonelli will be available for Mercedes to sign in 2025 after he fulfills his F2 duties. Wolff did not rule this prospect out but wanted to not add further and distract Antonelli from his current goal. “I think most important at that stage is he focuses on F2. If we start to spin his mind or unleash rumors that’s not going to help his F2 campaign,” said Wolff

So filling the seat with Gasly for just two years will be a difficult task, as the Frenchman would want a longer contract and might become a world champion and block the youngster’s entry. However, the next name on the list, because of various factors, will be a perfect replacement.

3. Fernando Alonso

via Reuters

Now, Fernando Alonso is the only available world champion on the grid. Since Hamilton’s shocking revelation, the Spaniard has been linked with the Brackley outfit. Wolff’s breakfast date with Alonso’s manager Flavio Briatore in Monaco added fuel to this fire. Even though he’s proved age is just a number, it will still catch up. However, for the next two years, the 2x world champion will do plenty of good for Mercedes.


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He will not only bring his ambition to the team, he will be an excellent mentor for Russell. After two years, if Mercedes can deliver a world championship-winning car, it will also fulfill Alonso’s dream and would give him a good enough reason to leave. It would give Antonelli sufficient time to develop and mature to put on his big boy pants. In 2025, if he’s good and lucky enough, he could also secure a one or two-year contract at perhaps Williams.

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This would be the most ideal scenario for Mercedes and we believe the route they’ll take to secure the near and long-term future of the team. So in our opinion, ironically, Fernando Alonso would be a perfect replacement for the outgoing Lewis Hamilton.

Editorial Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of EssentiallySports.

Source : EssentiallySports

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