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Kimi Antonelli and Oliver Bearman impress Former F1 driver Nyck de Vries

Former Red Bull Racing driver Nyck de Vries has lauded the great performances of rising stars Kimi Antonelli and Oliver Bearman.

Reflecting on their prowess, the Dutchman candidly acknowledged that embarking on his Formula 1 journey at the age of 18 would have been inconceivable for him.

The future of Formula 1 appears increasingly dominated by Ferrari and Mercedes, as Bearman aligns with the esteemed Italian driver academy and Antonelli emerges as the Silver Arrows' prodigious talent.

Although Bearman's spectacular debut in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix garnered significant attention, it's Antonelli who has seized the spotlight, positioning himself as a potential contender for Lewis Hamilton's seat in the 2025 season.

This year sees Bearman and Antonelli as teammates at Prema in Formula 2, a series where de Vries secured victory in 2019. Despite Bearman's commendable debut points finish, de Vries directs his focus towards the 17-year-old Antonelli.

In a recent discussion on the Pelas Pistas podcast, De Vries remarked, "Everyone talks about Bearman, but Antonelli consistently outpaced him during testing and the first race weekend in Bahrain, despite Prema's challenges."

While 2024 marks Bearman's sophomore season in Formula 2, Antonelli is making his debut. Particularly notable is Antonelli's prowess in qualifying, where the Ferrari protege has consistently demonstrated superiority, not entirely surprising to de Vries.

Bearman secured pole position for the F2 feature race in Saudi Arabia before transitioning to Carlos Sainz's SF24. De Vries commented on Antonelli's qualifying performance in Jeddah, stating, "Kimi did remarkably well, considering the limited track time. It's evident that Prema is grappling with the new regulations, but I believe Kimi possesses extraordinary talent."

De Vries emphasized that racing is ingrained in Antonelli's DNA, noting his family's deep-rooted connection to motorsport. "He breathes racing. Kimi's been behind the wheel since childhood, and his profound understanding of the sport is remarkable," remarked De Vries.

The upcoming F1 Japan Grand Prix, slated for April 5-7, holds promise as the fourth race in the 2024 season. With two free practice sessions on April 5 and qualifying on April 6, anticipation builds for the 53-lap race at the Suzuka International Racing Course on April 7.

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