The team Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team confirmed today that English George Russell he will become a companion of his compatriot Lewis Hamilton as of the 2022 season of F1.
Russell, 23, part of the Mercedes Young Drivers Program since 2017, will replace the Finn Valtteri Bottas, who will continue his sports campaign in Alfa Romeo Racing.
George won the championship of the GP3 Series 2017 and became champion of the F2 the next year. He debuted in 2019 with Williams, team with which he achieved his first podium finish by finishing second in the past Belgian Grand Prix.
"His work ethic and performance have continued to impress during his three seasons with Williams and he is now ready to step up to Mercedes and continue his professional development alongside Lewis Hamilton after signing a long-term contract with the team." explained the German team.
“It is a special day for me personally and professionally, but also a day of mixed emotions. I am excited and honored to join Mercedes next year, which is a great step in my career, but it also means that I will say goodbye to my teammates and friends at Williams. "Russell acknowledged.
“Looking ahead to next season I'd be lying if I said I'm not absolutely thrilled. It is a great opportunity and I want to take advantage of it. But I'm not under any illusions about the scale of the challenge; it's going to be a steep learning curve. Valtteri has set a high bar by taking victories, pole position and helping to win multiple titles. My goal should be to reward the trust they placed in me "He said.
Regarding working with Hamilton, he said: "I have admired Lewis since he was karting and the opportunity to learn from someone who has become a role model both on and off the track can only benefit me as a driver and as a human being."
While Toto wolff, head of the team, said: “This has not been an easy process or a simple decision for us. Valtteri has done a fantastic job over the past five seasons and has made an essential contribution to our success and growth. Together with Lewis he has built a landmark partnership between two teammates in the sport and that has been a valuable weapon in our championship battles and has driven us to unprecedented success. He would have absolutely deserved to stay with the team and I am pleased that he was able to choose an exciting challenge with Alfa next year to continue his career at the highest level of the sport. "
And then added: “Looking ahead to 2022 we are very happy to confirm that George will have the opportunity to take the next step in his career and join Mercedes. He's been a winner in every promotional category and the last three seasons with Williams have given us a glimpse of what the future holds in F.1. Now it is our challenge to help him continue learning within our environment and alongside Lewis, the best F.1 driver of all time. I am confident that as their relationship grows they will form a strong team and will meet Mercedes on and off the track for years to come. "