Now it’s George Russell’s turn to set his future in the 2022 F1 season. This Tuesday (7), after many rumors have been rolled out in recent weeks, Mercedes ended the mystery and announced the Englishman as Lewis Hamilton’s partner.
The competition’s promotion for the German team was already being aired on the main media channels. The first move came with the retirement of Kimi Räikkönen at the end of 2021, which left room for Valtteri Bottas to join Alfa Romeo next year.
The Kings Lynn-born competitor made his debut in the world’s premier motorsport category in 2019. However, at the 2020 Sakhir GP, he had his first test-drive with Brackley’s team by replacing Lewis Hamilton, who tested positive for Covid-19 – at the time, he finished ninth.
“It’s a special day for me personally and professionally. I’m excited to be joining Mercedes next year, which is a big step in my career, but it also means saying goodbye to my colleagues and friends at Williams. It was an honor to represent the Williams name in F1 and work with each of them,” said George.
“We battled for every second in qualifying, every point, every millisecond. No matter how hard it was, no one ever gave up and it inspired me every day. I will try harder than ever to ensure that our story ends in the best possible way,” he continued.
“Looking forward to the next season, I’d be lying if I said I’m not very excited. It’s a great opportunity and I want to hold it with both hands. But I have no illusions about this challenge. Valtteri set a high standard, delivered every weekend, got victories, poles and helped to win titles,” he added.
“My goal is to reward this trust that Toto [Wolff] and the whole team banked on me. And my teammate is, in my opinion, the best driver of all time. I’ve watched Lewis Hamilton since my kart days and being able to learn from someone who is an example on and off the track can only benefit me as a driver, a professional and a human being. A big thank you to Williams, Mercedes and everyone who supported me”, he added.
Despite a career of ups and downs, Russell has been following Williams’ evolution this year. The Hungarian GP, race in which he finished ninth, scored the first points with the team, but it was in the following race that his star shines. In the Belgian GP that never happened, after taking second place on the grid, he reached his first podium in F1.
Currently, the English has 13 points and appears in 15th place in the classification, one above his teammate Nicholas Latifi. At the Constructors’ World Championship, Williams comes in eighth, ahead of Alfa Romeo and Haas.
“Looking to 2022, we are happy to confirm Russell and his next career move. He was champion in each category – and the last few seasons with Williams have shown what the future in F1 holds in store for him. Now, our goal is for you to continue learning in our environment and with Lewis, the best driver of all time. I’m sure that as the relationship grows, they will deliver results for the team”, said Wolff.