George Russell was announced by Mercedes to join the team for the 2022 Formula 1 season on Tuesday.
One of the biggest moves in this year’s Silly Season has been confirmed – Russell will become a Mercedes driver in 2022 and will become Lewis Hamilton’s newest teammate.
Russell admitted that he has high expectations to meet following Valtteri Bottas’ five-year stint with the Silver Arrows, and that driving alongside Hamilton would benefit him as a Formula 1 driver.
“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, Russell explained.
“Valtteri has set a high bar, consistently delivering week in and week out, scoring wins, pole positions and helping win multiple championship titles.
“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.”
Russell also said that despite the announcement, his priority at the moment is towards the 2021 season with Williams, with whom he will spend nine more races before departing from his first ever Formula 1 team.
“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,” Russell added.
“My target [for 2022] must be to reward the trust that Toto [Wolff, team principal], 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.”
Mercedes team principal Wolff has also commented on the announcement.
“We are very happy to confirm that George will have the opportunity to take the next step in his career and join Mercedes,” Wolff said.
“Now, it is our challenge together to help him continue learning within our environment and alongside Lewis, the greatest F1 driver of all time.
“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.”