Six drivers from 2022 continue with the Team and there is one new addition for this year, bringing the roster to seven up-and-coming talents. The programme, established in 2016, carries on Mercedes-Benz’ legacy of identifying and supporting young drivers.
The seven juniors will be competing in categories that span the entire spectrum of the F1 feeder series ladder, from karting through to FIA Formula 2.
Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO:
“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:
“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.”