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TKART magazine Editorial | Kimi Antonelli’s feat winning with a fractured wrist
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Mattia Livraghi
06 December 2022 • 7 min. read

The young Italian talent won on the Paul Ricard circuit despite a bad injury, at the 2022 FIA Motorsport Games dedicated to F4 single-seaters. An epic success which, ironically, is linked to an episode that happened years earlier. In karts


“History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes”: Mark Twain's words fit perfectly in relation to Andrea Kimi Antonelli's career. The weekend of 6-8 November 2020: Kimi was racing on the Portimao circuit in his first (and only) world championship in the OK class, the premier class of single-speed karting. The Italian, who had just become (on his debut) OK European champion, was a candidate to be one of the protagonists of the most awaited race of the year, but an accident put an end to all his ambitions and he ended up in hospital with a broken left leg. Three months and a tiring rehabilitation process later, he was immediately back at the top of the rankings on the occasion of the first international competition of 2021, with his leg still in pain. The standard-bearer of the Kart Republic team thus began to shape another year to remember, in which he repeated his success in the OK European championship before surprising in his debut in KZ, the maximum expression of karting. The weekend of 26-30 October 2022: Kimi, a fresh winner, as a rookie, of the Italian and German F4 championship in his debut season in single-seaters, represented Italy at the FIA Motorsport Games 2022, a sort of "Olympics" of F4: "I was very motivated because I was still hungry for victory and wanted to end the year on a high note", Kimi tells us. “It was a challenge, because the car was different from the one used in the national championships: it was hybrid and heavier because of the battery packs.

Born in 2006, Andrea Kimi Antonelli (to get to know him better, read "Editorial | The kart drivers chosen by F1: Antonelli, kissed by the (three-pointed) star") made his debut in karting in 2014. Immediately fast, he began to collect successes and in February 2018 joined the Mercedes Junior Team. After twice becoming European champion in the premier class of single-speed karting, he started in cars in 2021 and the following year, during his first full season in F4, he triumphed in both the Italian championship and German championship. In 2022 he also participated in the FIA Motorsport Games, where he represented Italy and won the gold medal in F4, winning the race with a broken left wrist.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli driving his IAME powered Kart Republic (number 98) on the Adria circuit, on the occasion of the second round of the FIA Karting European Championship KZ 2021, where he achieved pole position in his first appearance in a FIA race in the premier class of karting.
Antonelli driving his IAME powered Kart Republic (number 11) on the Kristianstad circuit, on the occasion of the FIA Karting World Championship KZ 2021, where he achieved pole position in his first world championship in the gear class.

The chassis was also different, so it was necessary to figure it out quickly." The protégé of the Mercedes Junior Team is not intimidated by the need to "hurry". Also because in any case he "was in a hurry". First free practice session: the first classified (with more than four tenths of an advantage over his closest rival). Second round: still first. "I immediately had a good feeling and this gave me an advantage over the others", admits Kimi. “One of the main difficulties was dictated by the impossibility of making changes to the machine. For me, the setup of the car wasn't right because the car suffered a lot from understeering, so I had to adapt my driving style to deal with the problems". But the official timed tests came and Antonelli was… Guess what? First. Pole position, with almost 7 tenths of an advantage over the second. But qualifying didn't finish as it should have done: “I was finishing my last flying lap and I was improving further. I caught up with a girl who was obviously on a cool down lap considering she had slowed down significantly, and I overtook her on the last bend, tucking on the inside. But she didn't see me and in any case closed the trajectory, hitting my car. I tried to avoid contact right up to the last minute and I couldn't take my hands off the wheel before the impact. I suffered a kickback from the steering wheel: I had turned the steering wheel all the way to the right and the contact generated a sudden movement on the opposite side.

Antonelli ready to start, at the wheel of his Formula 4 hybrid (number 3) equipped with a KCMG chassis, for the FIA Motorsport Games on the Paul Ricard circuit.
The bandage on Antonelli's left wrist, with which the Italian driver competed in the races at the FIA Motorsport Games.
Antonelli celebrates his victory at the FIA Motorsport Games.
Kimi after the operation on the scaphoid of the left wrist.
The brace applied to Antonelli's left wrist just over a week after the operation on the scaphoid.
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