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Mercedes reveal junior driver line-up for 2023

Aditya Chaudhuri Aditya Chaudhuri

Mercedes have announced a seven-member driver line-up for their Junior Programme for 2023. The seven members are: Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Alex Powell, Yuanpu Cui, Luna Fluxá, Kenzo Craigie, Paul Aron and Frederik Vesti.

While Antonelli, Aron, Powell and Vesti will be continuing with them, Cui, Fluxá and Craigie are the new arrivals at Mercedes. Fluxá has competed in the WSK and IAME Euro Series and also won the IAME Euro Series in X30 Mini in 2021. Powell, who joined the Mercedes Junior Programme in 2019, finished runners-up in the FIA Karting European Championship last season, while Cui has raced in the Andrea Margutti Trophy, the WSK Champions Cup, and the WSK Super Master Series. Craige took part in the Rotax Max Grand Finals and the British Karting Championship in 2021 and has already won the Ultimate Karting Championship Series, British Kartmasters (GP Plate), and the British Karting Championship (O Plate), while also having finished as the British Karting Championship Vice-Champion.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO, said:

We’re looking forward to seeing how our Junior Drivers progress this season. 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 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, 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 Fluxá; 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.

Mercedes reveals junior driver line-up for 2023
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Aditya Chaudhuri

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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