George Russell has signed a long-term deal to drive for Mercedes from 2022.
Russell has impressed at Williams since winning the 2018 Formula 2 championship, and now gets his chance with the dominant team of the V6 era, replacing Valtteri Bottas whose switch to Alfa Romeo was confirmed yesterday.
“Looking ahead to next season, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely buzzing,” Russell said. “It’s a huge opportunity, and one I want to grab with both hands. But I’m under no illusions as to the scale of the challenge; it’s going to be a steep learning curve. Valtteri has set a high bar, consistently delivering week in and week out, scoring wins, pole positions and helping win multiple championship titles.
“My target must be to reward the trust that Toto (Wolff, team principal), the team, and the board have placed in me by ensuring I play my part in continuing that success and I want to do my new teammates proud.
“Of course, one of those new teammates is, in my opinion, the greatest driver of all time. I’ve looked up to Lewis since I was in go-karts and the opportunity to learn from someone who has become a role model both on and off track can only benefit me as a driver, a professional, and a human being.”
The 23-year-old will be Hamilton’s teammate for at least the next two years based on existing contracts.
“Looking forward 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,” Wolff said. “He has been a winner in every racing category, and the past three seasons with Williams have given us a taste of what the future could hold for him in F1.
“Now, it is our challenge together to help him continue learning within our environment and alongside Lewis, the greatest F1 driver of all time. I am confident that as their relationship grows, they will form a strong team and deliver for Mercedes on and off the track in the years ahead.
“It’s a weight off our shoulders to have our plans for 2022 clear and announced; but now, our focus returns to the final nine races of this season and putting everything into our challenge for this year’s world championships.”