Mercedes announce seven junior drivers for 2023 – including new British recruit
Mercedes have revealed their seven-strong driver line-up for their Junior Programme for 2023, with the likes of Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Paul Aron and Frederik Vesti continuing with the team.
The Silver Arrows have a range of drivers from karters to FIA Formula 2 racers in their junior roster this year. Highly-rated Italian Antonelli continues with the team as he moves up to Formula Regional European Championship in 2019, while Estonian driver Aron (main image) moves up to FIA Formula 3 this season and Danish driver Vesti remains in F2 but drives for Prema this season.
Furthermore, they retain Jamaican driver Alex Powell plus Chinese driver Yuanpu Cui and Spaniard Luna Fluxa.
British karter Kenzo Craigie joins the programme for 2023 as this year he steps up to the Junior class, competing in UK and International Rotax, and IAME categories.
"We're looking forward to seeing how our junior drivers progress this season," said Toto Wolff, Mercedes Team Principal. "We saw some impressive performances in 2022, and we will continue to support them as they develop.
"An encouraging recent example of their progress is Kimi's [Antonelli’s] Formula Regional Middle East title. All our junior drivers are at very different, but very exciting, stages of their young careers and I'm sure it's going to be another positive year for the programme.”
Gwen Lagrue, Driver Development Advisor for mercedes, added: "For 2023, our Junior Programme has drivers racing in almost every step of the feeder series ladder. We're optimistic it's going to be another strong season and year of positive progress.
"After an initial taste of F1 in Abu Dhabi last year at the rookie test, we expect Frederick Vesti to be fighting for wins and be in contention for the FIA F2 title. Following a successful campaign in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine (FRECA), Paul Aron moves up to FIA F3 and we believe he's ready to be a front-runner in his first season.
"Andrea Kimi Antonelli will graduate to FRECA after an outstanding double title winning F4 campaign and a strong start to 2023, winning the Formula Regional Middle East championship.
"Alex Powell is leading our group of drivers on the international karting scene alongside Yuanpu Cui and Luna Fluxa; they all have the experience to deliver strong seasons. We are also pleased to welcome the talented Kenzo Craigie to our programme in 2023, becoming our youngest junior as he tackles the British karting championships."