Mercedes’ Allison says ‘metronomic’ Antonelli looks very promising

James Allison says Andrea Kimi Antonelli’s potential looks to be very promising after showing “metronomic” pace for Mercedes in his Formula 1 tests so far.

Antonelli (pictured above) is in his first season in Formula 2 but has been earmarked as a potential future F1 driver for Mercedes and tested for the team in 2021 and 2022 machinery over recent weeks. Team technical director Allison says he is not involved in decisions about drivers for next year — when a replacement for Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton needs to be found — but that the feedback from those running the tests has been positive.

“I have had the great pleasure of listening to the other engineers describe the interaction with him,” Allison said. “Just a young and enthusiastic driver, very, very fast. Metronomic in his pace, has not been in an F1 car until recently but made it look like he’d been in one for ages within a lap or two.


“Came at this generation of cars, the ground effect cars, with an open mind… He feels all the same things that you’d expect him to feel, but he’s not polluted by the previous cars, so he just takes them as they are and tells us what he’s feeling, it’s weaknesses and strengths, and let’s the engineers work to try and improve those things. He looks like a very promising young driver.”

It’s not only drivers where Mercedes have been dealing with changes — following confirmation of Loic Serra and Jerome D’Ambrosio’s moves to Ferrari later this year — but with Mercedes bringing in personnel from Ferrari too. Allison isn’t concerned about the turnover.

“I think it’s more in the normal ebb and flow of an F1 team.” he said. “The teams are big these days and in any given year you are shipping out a whole bunch of people and shipping in a matching number. That will be true in nearly every team.

“Clearly, a team needs to have a critical mass of experienced and good people and we would not wish to see experienced, good people leave us. But we also are gathering experienced and good people at a similar rate. So I guess it’s our job to try and make sure we act in such a way as everybody would rather be with us than anywhere else.”

Story originally appeared on Racer