Williams Racing announced that it signed a multi-year agreement with 20-year-old British racing driver George Russell for the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship. George will make his Formula One race debut at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.
George began competing in single seater racing in 2014, winning the BRDC Formula 4 Championship at his first attempt as well as becoming the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner.
George progressed to the Formula 3 European Championship for two seasons, and then went onto win the GP3 championship in his rookie 2017 season with two races to spare.
He stepped up to the FIA Formula 2 Championship this year, which he is currently leading, whilst also fulfilling a Test and Reserve Driver role for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.
George Russell said:
“It is a huge honour to join a team of Williams’ prestige and heritage. Formula One has been a life-long dream. From watching the races when I was a child, it feels surreal that I will now be lining up on the grid, alongside drivers whom I have admired for years. I would like to thank Claire and everyone at Williams for their faith in making this decision, as well as Toto and the team at Mercedes for their fantastic support throughout GP3 and Formula 2. I am incredibly excited to start working with everyone at Grove and to take my first steps as a Formula One race driver. I cannot wait for Melbourne next year and to join Williams at the start of what we all believe will be the start of an exciting new journey.”
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, said:
“I am delighted to announce that George Russell will be joining Williams from the 2019 season. We have always tried to promote and develop young talent at Williams, and George fits that ethos perfectly. He is already highly regarded in the paddock and a driver whose career we have been watching for a while. In the time we have spent with him so far, we believe that he will be a great fit for our team; his commitment, passion and dedication is exactly what we need to drive the positive momentum building at Grove as we focus on the future. We are extremely excited to welcome George and work with him moving forward.”
This kid has a sort of quiet Scott Dixon vibe about him, although he is much more interesting as a conversationalist. I most definitely rate him; I’d love to see him in decent equipment against Leclerc, Verstappen, et.al. Fascinated to see who will buy the other Williams seat.
Sirotkin has been talking about Williams’ future like it’s a sure thing for him. We’ll see if he’s right about that.
Have you listened to the ‘dinner with racers’ podcast interview with Scott Dixon?
That might change you views on Dixon’s conversational skills.
Interesting that Mercedes backed Russell to get the Williams seat. I wonder where this leaves Ocon? Has he dodged a bullet by not having to ‘drop back’ from Force India to Williams, and he’s still the next incumbent for a Mercedes seat, or by sitting a year out, is his F1 career now in the hands of how well Russell features next season? Now a small ageist /road relevantist comment, Shouldn’t F1 drivers at least look old enough to have a road car licence, or drink the podium champagne? To me, I’d be asking both Russell, and Norris, for ID… Read more »
I guess Esteban could always take Sergey’s seat but my won’t that make Kubica fans unhappy. :)
Ahh they’ll be unhappy then.
I know this is unpopular, but drivers are getting to F1 way too young. I understand all the reasons, and I don’t blame young drivers at all, I just think there has to be a better system.
Russell won’t be the youngest on the grid next year. Stroll (who has been in F1 for two seasons already) is eight months younger than Russell, and Verstappen (with four seasons in F1) is only four months older.