Russell joins Mercedes

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2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, Friday – Steve Etherington

It’s official. As we suspected, the announcement of George Russell was most likely waiting on Valtteri Bottas and his announcement with Alfa Romeo. Perhaps out of respect for Valtteri and what he has done for the team.

Mercedes announced today that George is now the 2022 teammate of Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes AMG Petronas Statement:

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team today confirmed that George Russell will become team-mate to reigning seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, beginning from the 2022 Formula One season as the sport enters a new era of technical regulations.

This confirmation follows the news that Valtteri Bottas will join Alfa Romeo Racing next year, after five highly successful seasons with Mercedes. Valtteri joined Mercedes in 2017, scoring 9 race wins, 54 podiums and 17 pole positions to date with the team.

He has played a pivotal role in Mercedes winning four Constructors’ World Championships since 2017, and his partnership with Lewis Hamilton will be recorded as one of the most successful in the sport’s history.

Valtteri will be succeeded by 23-year-old George Russell, who joined the Mercedes Young Driver Programme in 2017. George won that season’s GP3 Series championship, and became FIA Formula 2 champion the following year, before graduating to Formula One with Williams in 2019.

His work ethic and performance have continued to impress during his three seasons with Williams; he is now ready to make the step to Mercedes and to continue his career development alongside Lewis Hamilton, after signing a long-term contract with the team.

George Russell said:

“It’s a special day for me personally and professionally, but also a day of mixed emotions. I’m excited and humbled to be joining Mercedes next year, which is a huge career step, but it also means I’ll be saying goodbye to my team-mates and friends at Williams. It has been an honour working alongside every member of the team, and an honour to represent the Williams name in F1. Since I joined in 2019, we have worked tirelessly to push each other forward and bring the team back up the grid where it belongs. We’ve battled for every qualifying position, every point, and every tenth of a second. No matter how tough it’s been, nobody has ever given up, and that has inspired me every day. I’ve loved every moment in what I’d describe as a true heart and soul racing team, and I’ll be pushing harder than ever to make sure we end our story in the best possible way.

“Looking ahead to next season, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely buzzing. 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, 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 team-mates proud.”

“Of course, one of those new team-mates 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. For now, though, I have nine more races as a Williams driver, and I want to make sure they are the best nine of my time with the team. Then, and only then, can I turn my attention to 2022. A huge thank you to Williams, to Mercedes and to everyone who has supported me in getting to where I am today. I couldn’t have done it without every single one of you.”

Toto Wolff said:

“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. 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 to come. 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.”

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Fabio

Damn, I was hoping for Latifi.

Xean Drury

Hamilton’s feet are now replaced by George’s on the desk. Sorry, but George is just too good.

peter

Okay, I was very wrong in my predictions… but I do have one warning…
What will fans do if Toto deliberately disadvantages Russell as he did when Russell stepped in for Lewis last time?
And it’s no good pretending that was accidental… if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck….

Xean Drury

This is Hamilton’s last year, despite the contract extension. MERC is going to back the points leader, because they care more about the team championship, than they do the driver’s championship. Now, if HAM gets a points lead, of course they’ll back him. However, if it’s a 50/50 decision between the two, MERC will back RUS. Why? because 1. HAM did not get 7 championships with MERC exclusively, so what legacy? But more importantly 2. They now have a second HAM, VER, LEC caliber driver. Sorry Bottas and Nico, but HAM always was the better driver over all. So if… Read more »