Home Featured Antonelli “learned a lot” in rain and snow-hit maiden F1 test

Antonelli “learned a lot” in rain and snow-hit maiden F1 test

by Ida Wood

Photo: Mercedes-AMG F1

Andrea Kimi Antonelli picked up his first miles in a Formula 1 car this week in a private test at the Red Bull Ring.

The Mercedes-AMG F1 junior got to spend two days at the track owned by one of its rivals, although his running in the team’s W12 car from 2021 was restricted somewhat by wintery weather that hit the hills of Austria.

He still completed over 310 miles, meaning he exceeded a lap count of 115 and did more than one-and-a-half times the distance of the grand prix that is held at the track. Preparations for the test had included time on Mercedes’ simulator.

“It’s been an incredible experience, it was really great to feel the power and downforce,” said Antonelli afterwards. “I loved every second of it. It was really good fun and I want to thank all the team for all their hard work.”

He added: “I have learned a lot in these two days, things which will be really helpful when I go back to Formula 2. But I need to keep working, and keep improving too.”

The rain that hit meant Antonelli drove on grooved tyres for at least some of his test running, with Mercedes not releasing details on how much time was spent on slick tyres.

“First day didn’t go as planned. We got some snow, unfortunately, so couldn’t really drive,” revealed Antonelli. “But second day was dry and clocked quite a lot of laps. Was really good fun.”

Mercedes will organise a second test for Antonelli, in which he will drive its W13 car from 2022. No date for that has been shared, although the 17-year-old Antonelli said he is “excited for what’s coming”.