George Russell to partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in all-British driver lineup from 2022 season
Russell has long been tipped to replace Valtteri Bottas at the defending champions and, on Monday, Bottas announced he was joining Alfa Romeo.
And on Tuesday morning, Russell announced his move from Williams to Mercedes for next season.
He said: “It’s a huge opportunity and one I want to grab with both hands. I’m under no illusions as to the scale of the challenge. It’s going to be a steep learning curve.
“I want to do my 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 the track can only benefit me as a driver, a professional and a human being.”
Russell shone on his one race for Mercedes last season as a replacement for the Covid-stricken Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix and came within a whisker of winning the race.
He also further boosted his reputation by finishing second in qualifying for Williams at the recent Belgian Grand Prix in what is effectively the eighth-quickest car on the grid.
And new team boss Toto Wolff said: “George 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.
It’s official. Next year, I’ll be a Mercedes F1 driver. This is a special day for me and I want to say a huge thank you to @WilliamsRacing, @MercedesAMGF1 and everyone who has supported me in getting to where I am today. I couldn’t have done it without every single one of you. 💙 pic.twitter.com/MmGA1vr9mR— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) September 7, 2021
“Now, it is our challenge together to help him continue learning within our environment and alongside Lewis, the greatest F1 driver of all time.”