The expected Bottas successor: Russell makes “giant step” to Mercedes

The expected successor to Bottas
Russell takes a “giant step” towards Mercedes

It has now been confirmed: George Russell will drive for Mercedes in the coming Formula 1 season. The Briton occupies the cockpit vacated by Valtteri Bottas’ move to Alfa Romeo alongside record world champion Lewis Hamilton. The 23-year-old is still not entirely happy.

As expected, Briton George Russell will be the new team-mate of record world champion Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in the coming Formula 1 season. The 23-year-old has signed a long-term contract, announced the Silberpfeil racing team. There was no information about the exact duration. Russell has been part of the Mercedes promotional squad since 2017.

“Today is a special day for me, both personally and professionally, but it is also a day full of mixed feelings,” said Russell. He will take over the cockpit of the Finn Valtteri Bottas, who is moving to the Alfa Romeo team. It was a “giant step in my career,” stressed Russell. “It also means saying goodbye to my teammates and friends at Williams.” The Mercedes pupil is currently driving his third season in the motorsport premier class for the Williams team and has recently impressed time and again with strong performances.

Russell has won every racing series in which he competed and gave Williams a foretaste of what the future could hold for him in Formula 1, said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. He also emphasized with a view to the current and highly competitive World Cup: “With the announcement of our plans for the 2022 season, one of the burdens is lifted from us, from now on our focus is fully on the remaining nine races of the season in which we are in The fight for the two world championships will throw everything into the balance. “

For a while now, Russell’s promotion to the world championship team seemed just a matter of time, his performances in the Williams were too strong. The highlight was the second place on the grid in qualifying at Spa at the end of August. Since there was no real race in Belgium due to the heavy rain, Russell also celebrated his first podium there. Last season, the Englishman was also allowed to replace the sick Hamilton at Mercedes in Bahrain and would have won the race right away if the pit crew hadn’t made a mistake.

He spoke in awe of his future team-mate: “I’ve looked up to Lewis since I was karting, and as a driver, professional and person, I can only benefit from having the opportunity to learn from someone who is both on as well as becoming a role model next to the racetrack. “