George Russell to drive for Mercedes F1 team in 2022

Mercedes has signed George Russell to race alongside Lewis Hamilton at its Formula 1 team in 2022.

Just 24 hours after its current driver Valtteri Bottas announced that he was switching to Alfa Romeo next year, Mercedes went public with its plans to bring in Russell.

After three strong seasons for Williams where he has earned high praise, Mercedes says it has signed the 23-year-old on a long term deal.

Speaking about the opportunity he has been given, Russell said: “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.”

Russell originally joined the Mercedes young driver programme in 2017, and went on to win the GP3 championship that year.

After adding the F2 title the following campaign, Mercedes agreed a three-year deal for Russell to step up to F1 with Williams from 2019.

Although the Grove-based squad endured its fair share of competitive frustrations, Russell was still able to shine in the car.

Having finally finally scoring his first points for the team at the Hungarian Grand Prix, he recently secured a front row slot and second place finish at the rain-hit Belgian GP.

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, and Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, and Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Russell is no stranger to the Mercedes team either, having been drafted in as replacement for Hamilton at last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix, when the world champion was struck down with coronavirus.

The young Briton led much of the race and was in with a shout of the victory prior to a botched pitstop and late puncture wrecking his chances.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said he was confident that Russell would slot in seamlessly at the Brackley-based squad and help carry it forward in F1’s new rules era.

“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,” said Wolff.

“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.”

Williams CEO Jost Capito paid tribute to Russell and said he has no doubt he is skilled enough to be a champion.

"Over the past three years, it's been clear to every member of staff here at Williams just how dedicated, focused, and talented George is through his contributions to the team both on and off track," he said. 

"He has all the characteristics necessary to achieve the greatest success in our sport and we are therefore delighted for him, both as a team and me personally, to see him rewarded with the opportunity to test himself at Mercedes.

"We will watch his progress with interest and pride, knowing the role Williams has played in developing his considerable skills. We were of course aware of this possibility coming to fruition and therefore have a number of strong driver options available to us.

"We now look forward to shaping our future line-up that will help us take the next step in our exciting journey as a team and will make any announcement in due course."

 

Read Also:

shares
comments
Red Bull finds Wolff interference over Albon 'slightly unusual'

Previous article

Red Bull finds Wolff interference over Albon 'slightly unusual'

Next article

The challenge Russell will pose to Hamilton’s Mercedes legacy

The challenge Russell will pose to Hamilton’s Mercedes legacy
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021