PREMA Racing have announced that Andrea Kimi Antonelli will be graduating to Formula 2 with the team, becoming the first driver announced for the 2024 campaign.

The 17-year-old Italian racer steps up as the reigning Champion of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine. Earning five victories and a further six podiums on his way to claiming his fifth title in two years.

"I'm very happy for this opportunity. From Formula Regional to Formula 2, it will be a huge jump," said Antonelli. "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 and I love working with them."

The Mercedes junior made his step up to single seaters with the Italian team in 2021, making a three-round appearance in Italian F4. A full season followed the next year alongside a campaign in German F4, securing the Drivers’ title in both Championships with a combined total of 22 wins. Additionally, he won the gold medal in the FIA Motorsport Games Formula 4 Cup.

From there, Antonelli earned three wins and seven podiums on his way to the Formula Regional Middle East Championship title, before going on to triumph in FRECA during his rookie season.

Team Principal René Rosin added: "We are proud to welcome Kimi to our FIA Formula 2 Championship 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 make the step in the smoothest possible way."

Antonelli will get his first taste of Formula 2 action during the post-season test at Yas Marina from November 29 to December 1.