Formula 1 Racing

Antonelli admits he “needed” breakthrough win after struggling in F1 spotlight · RaceFans

Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Formula 2, Prema, Imola, 2024

Andrea Kimi Antonelli said he needed his breakthrough victory today after a difficult start to his first season in Formula 2.

“Definitely it was needed,” said Antonelli, who won a rain-affected sprint race at Silverstone today by eight seconds. “We had a not ideal start to the season, but we’ve been improving a lot throughout the season.

“I have to say, on my side, in the last couple of weekends I haven’t done the greatest of jobs. But now I’m really happy to to get my first win today.”

The race began behind the Safety Car, was red-flagged due to heavy rain and interrupted several more times once it restarted. “It was a difficult race overall,” said Antonelli. “Really difficult conditions, but we managed everything pretty well and happy to bring home the first win.”

The Mercedes junior driver was promoted straight into F2 from the Formula Regional European Championship, which he won last year. He was thrust into the spotlight after Lewis Hamilton announced he will leave the team at the end of the current season, raising the possibility Mercedes could promote him directly into F1 next year.

The 17-year-old admitted he’s struggled to cope with the attention that has brought. “Not always I coped very well with pressure,” he said.

“Obviously this season, especially these years, I’ve been under a lot of pressure to be honest. But I have to say today I coped with it pretty well.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“Still some improvements [are needed] because sometimes I still do some mistakes. For example, yesterday in quali I did a mistake in my lap and lost quite a bit of time. So definitely sometimes I still don’t perform as I could.

“But I’m trying every time to cope as best as I can with the pressure. I think today was really the showcase. Actually it’s a big relief for me, because it really takes away a lot of weight from my shoulders and hopefully we can do a good result tomorrow as well.”

Antonelli and team mate Oliver Bearman had a difficult start to the season as Prema had difficulties with the new chassis F2 has introduced this year.

“I was trying just to work on myself and it was not easy,” he said. “The step I did was pretty big, skipping F3, a lot of new information, start procedures, tyre management.

“Also, we were struggling [in the team] a little bit, so that didn’t really help. But I always tried to do my best.”

Although Antonelli made steady improvements early in…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at RaceFans…