Mercedes made the news official on Tuesday: George Russell (23) will compete in the 2022 Formula 1 season in the current best team in the world alongside his compatriot Lewis Hamilton. The young Briton has “signed a long-term contract” which will see him succeed Finnish Valtteri Bottas, leaving for Alfa Romeo.
A member of Mercedes’ young talent line since 2017, titled in GP3 the same year and then in F2 in 2018, Russell has been racing in F1 since 2019 with Williams. He signed his first podium in Belgium at the end of August (2nd), after a race reduced to a few laps behind the safety car because of the rain. In 2020, he was very convincing by replacing Hamilton, who was positive for Covid-19, during the GP of Sakhir, in Bahrain, qualifying 2nd before seeing a series of misadventures deprive him of the victory. [il sera finalement 9e].
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“His work ethic and performance have never ceased to impress during his three seasons with Williams. He is now ready to take the step towards Mercedes and to continue developing his career alongside Lewis Hamilton, after having signed a long-term contract with the team, ”explains his future team.
“Valtteri has set the bar very high”
“It’s a huge opportunity and I want to seize it with both hands,” said the young driver for his part. “But I’m not kidding myself about the magnitude of the challenge; the learning curve will be steep ”. “Valtteri has set the bar very high, constantly showing itself up to the challenge week after week, taking victories, pole positions and helping to conquer several world championship titles. [des constructeurs], he continues. My goal must be to reward Toto [Wolff, le patron de Mercedes en F1], the team and the board of directors for the confidence they placed in me by ensuring that I played my part in the pursuit of this success. “
About his future teammate, seven-time world champion, Russell says he “admires Lewis” since he made his kart debut. “The opportunity to learn from someone who has become a role model both on and off the track can only be beneficial to me as a driver, as a professional and as a human being”, assures the youngster. man.