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Mercedes signs 1st female junior to F1 academy for 2022 | F1

Luna Fluxa is Mercedes’ newest signing and the German manufacturer’s first female driver to join the programme.

The Spanish racer will compete in the OK Junior karting class for 2022.

Frederik Vesti remains in the programme after two seasons in Formula 3.

The Dane will make the step up to Formula 2 with ART Grand Prix.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli makes the move up to single-seaters with Prema in Italian F4 after joining Mercedes in 2019, while Paul Aron retains his spot and remains in Formula Regional European Championship for another year.

Yuanpu Cui was signed by Mercedes last year and will continue to race in karting for 2022, as will Alex Powell, who is set to move up to OK full-time this year.

Britain’s Daniel Guinchard completes the roster and he will also make the step up to single-seaters with Argenti in the British F4 series.

“It’s going to be a really exciting year for our junior drivers, and we’re delighted to welcome them to our W13 launch on Friday as part of our motorsport family,” CEO Toto Wolff said.

“There are some familiar faces in the programme from previous years, looking to build on their strong progress, and there are also several new members of the programme who have joined us this year. It will be great to see how they develop in their first season with us.”

2022 is a landmark year for the Mercedes junior programme as George Russell – who had been it in since 2017 – makes the move up to the F1 team alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes strategy director James Vowels added: “George joining alongside Lewis marks a significant milestone for our young driver programme. Every year, the programme has grown, and we are fortunate to have an incredible line-up across categories ranging from karting to F1.

 “We’ll be working hard to provide the best support and environment we can, enabling them to focus on the job in hand and deliver their maximum potential. The Mercedes young drivers of today, will hopefully be our champions of tomorrow.”


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