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Mercedes F1 junior Antonelli to race in Italian GT championship

by Ida Wood

Photo: FRME

Highly rated Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli will make a switch to sportscar racing this weekend as he will race in the opening Italian GT round of 2023.

This weekend’s Sprint event at Misano consists of two races, and Antonelli will drive solo in a Mercedes AMG GT3 car in both. Running his car will be Antonelli Motorsport, the team run by his father Marco.

“I want to thank [Mercedes F1 team principal] Toto Wolff and [the team’s driver development advisor] Gwen Lagrue for having authorised Andrea Kimi to participate in the Misano round and the Prema team with which he is involved this year in Formula Regional,” said Antonelli Sr. “We are back on track energised as always, with two crews of sure value.”

After winning the ADAC and Italian Formula 4 titles with Prema and claiming the gold medal in the Motorsport Games F4 Cup in 2022, the younger Antonelli started this year by stepping up to FRegional.

Driving for the Prema-supported Mumbai Falcons team he won the Middle East championship in February, and started his European championship campaign at Imola last month with a second place finish. Although he retired in the second race of the weekend, the 17-year-old still sits third in the standings after the opening round.

Joining him in Antonelli Motorsport’s line-up for Misano is Georg Kelstrup, who will share a car with Gustavo Sandrucci. Danish teenager Kelstrup spent the last two years racing in Spanish F4, while Sandrucci is director of the AMG Driving Academy in Italy and is a champion in single-make touring car series in the country.