Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli will skip Formula 3 and make the step up to Formula 2 in 2024 with Prema after winning the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine title.

Last year, Antonelli won both the Italian and ADAC Formula 4 championships with Prema in only his first season of single-seater racing.

This season, Antonelli has been competing in the FRECA series, where he has won five races to clinch the title with two rounds remaining at Zandvoort.

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff had previously hinted that the two-time European karting champion could progress straight from FRECA to F2 and now it’s been confirmed.

Antonelli will continue his association with the Prema squad that has taken Charles Leclerc (2017), Mick Schumacher (2020), and Oscar Piastri (2021) to championship glory.

The 17-year-old will get behind the wheel of an F2 car for the first time at the post-season test in Abu Dhabi. The next season will also see F2 introduce a new car.

Antonelli said he was “very happy for this opportunity”, admitting that he is aware of the “huge jump” that will come from moving to FRECA to F2.

“I’m very happy for this opportunity,” Antonelli expressed.

“From Formula Regional to Formula 2, it will be a huge jump. I’m aware that it will be very challenging because the level is really high there.

“It will be a new car, for me and the others as well, but it’s still going to be tough.

“I don’t want to set expectations, I will try to learn as much as possible in testing to be ready for the first race, have fun as always, and do a good job.

“I’m delighted to continue with Prema as I started my single-seater career with them and they are my second family. I love working with them.”

Meanwhile, Prema team boss Rene Rosin said: “We are proud to welcome Kimi to our FIA Formula 2 team.

“He has been with us since the very beginning so not only do we know him well, but we are also particularly proud of what he was able to achieve in his first two years full-time in single-seaters.

“Kimi is a gifted racer and a great team player, so we cannot wait to see what the 2024 season will bring and we are focused on helping him to make the step in the smoothest possible way.”

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