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.
Russell originally joined the Mercedes young driver program in 2017. Then he 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.
Earning his chance with the team who first signed him as a junior driver before supporting his three brilliant seasons in F1 with Williams. Russell, will be Hamilton’s sixth and youngest team-mate in the sport.
He replaces Valtteri Bottas, who is moving to Alfa Romeo after five seasons with Mercedes.
George proved he was ready at the 2020 #SakhirGP 👏
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 7, 2021
Russell’s signing follows tough deliberation from Mercedes. As they weighed the known quantity of Bottas, who has challenged but not beaten seven-time champion Hamilton over a season.
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.
In F1’s first all-British driver line-up since Hamilton partnered Jenson Button at McLaren before joining Mercedes in 2013.
Russell has spoken glowingly about joining Hamilton, his idol and the most successful driver in F1 history.
“I’ve looked up to Lewis since I was in go-karts. 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 won both the GP3 (2017) and Formula 2 titles (2018) before making the step up to F1 with Williams in 2019.