Choose the language.
TKART magazine Editorial | The F1 chosen ones: The Story of Andrea Kimi Antonelli
Exclusive Content

The kart drivers who became F1 chosen ones
Antonelli, blessed by the Star (the three-pointed one)

Mattia Livraghi
02 May 2021

Kart drivers, those who dream of climbing the motorsport pyramid, are not all the same. There are some who are a little "more special", perhaps better, certainly more fortunate than the others. We are talking about those who are part of the "driver programmes" of F1 teams that aim to develop the most promising drivers (often chosen from the training ground provided by karting) to channel them straight into F1. Let's find out the profiles of these “chosen ones” and understand how and why the F1 teams select them among many other drivers. Let's start from the story of an almost fifteen-year-old Italian who joined the "Mercedes Junior Drivers" programme.


Andrea Kimi Antonelli was born on 25 August 2006 in Bologna. He is a so-called son of tradition (his father Marco, a former driver, is the founder and owner of the Antonelli Motorsport team), a useful but not sufficient element if you wish to get ahead in motorsport while keeping F1 in your sights. A father "involved in the sector", however, certainly does not hurt: he knows the subject and the dynamics of a very particular sport in which, in addition to talent, technical and strategic/managerial decisions also count. In fact, Marco Antonelli did not take long to decide where to start from. He looked around himself, gathered information and understood that the right class for his debut in racing was Easykart. He did not want to "throw money away" and before aiming for the highest levels he wanted to understand whether or not his son had it in him. And what is better than Easykart, in which all the drivers race with the exact same vehicle and therefore it is much easier to see who really makes the difference without spending a fortune? So, on 17 May 2015 Andrea Kimi (for everyone, by now, just Kimi) made his debut at the age of eight in the Easykart championship in the 60cc class.

We have summarised the main stages of the career of Andrea Kimi Antonelli. From his birth… to the present day.

He was born on 25 August in Bologna.

2012 – 6 years of age
He drove a Delfino kart for the first time in Forlì.

He joined in once the season had started, in the third round of the Italian Trophy on the Adria circuit. He had a helmet as wide as his shoulders and arms as thin as the tubes of his chassis that made you think that he could hardly turn the wheel of his kart with the track so rubberized. You could look at him and say: “Here it is! The classic case in which the father's desire to see his son in a kart exceeds that of the son to drive it”. Instead Kimi immediately made it clear that he is the Antonelli who wants that wheel more than anything else: absolute pole position before 55 participants and victory in the final with almost 7 seconds ahead of the second driver. Good day.

Things did not change in the races to follow: four podiums in the following five events, including two victories and the Easykart 60 Italian Trophy ends up in Bologna in little Kimi's room.
However, to be noticed by an F1 team winning is not enough, you need to amaze and the opportunity to do so presented itself, unfortunately for him, in a very short space of time.

07.2014 – 7 years and 11 months old
He took part in the Summer Camp ACI Sport, in Sarno. Giovanni Minardi starts collaborating with him to take him to an Academy and pave the way towards F1.

Continue reading the article by subscribing for only 0.96 € / week
Explore these and many other
premium contents
Go to Magazine