Mercedes have announced that 2018 Formula 2 Champion George Russell will join the team in 2022, lining up alongside seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton . The 23-year-old was part of the Mercedes Academy and has spent the past two-and-a-half seasons driving for Williams.
Russell scored seven wins, five poles and a total of 11 podiums in his single season of F2, beating Lando Norris and Alex Albon to the title with ART Grand Prix.
The Briton – who was also the 2017 GP3 champion – has consistently impressed since joining Williams, taking his first podium last month in a heavily shortened rain-curtailed race at the Belgian Grand Prix.
“It's a special day for me personally and professionally, but also a day of mixed emotions,” said Russell. “I’m excited and humbled to be joining Mercedes next year, which is a huge career step, but it also means I’ll be saying goodbye to my team mates and friends at Williams. It has been an honour working alongside every member of the team, and an honour to represent the Williams name in F1.
“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.
“Valtteri has set a high bar, consistently delivering week in and week out, scoring wins, pole positions and helping win multiple championship titles. My target 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.
“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.
“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.”