Mercedes announces George Russell in 2022 F1 driver line-up

Following Valtteri Bottas' departure to Alfa Romeo Racing, George Russell will be teammate to Lewis Hamilton from 2022.

George Russell

George Russell has signed a "long-term contract" with Mercedes.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

George Russell will join Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton's next teammate, with the world champion confirming its all-British 2022 driver line-up.

He replaces Valtteri Bottas, who is moving to Alfa Romeo after five seasons with Mercedes. Bottas, who joined Mercedes in 2017, has registered nine race wins, 54 podiums and 17 pole positions. He has played a pivotal role in Mercedes, winning four Constructors' World Championships since 2017.

The 23-year-old Russell joined the Mercedes Young Driver Programme in 2017. Russell won that season's GP3 Series championship and became FIA Formula 2 champion the following year before graduating to Formula One with Williams in 2019.

"It's a special day for me personally and professionally, but also a day of mixed emotions. I'm excited and humbled to be joining Mercedes next year, which is a huge career step," Russell said.

"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, 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 teammates proud," he added.

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Russell also said he was looking forward to learning a lot from fellow Briton Hamilton. "Of course, one of those new teammates 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," he said.

Team boss Toto Wolff accepted it wasn't an easy decision to let go of Bottas, who has brought laurels to the team in the past. "This hasn't been an easy process or a straightforward decision for us. Valtteri has done a fantastic job over the past five seasons, and he has made an essential contribution to our success and our growth. Together with Lewis, he has built a benchmark partnership between two teammates in the sport, and that has been a valuable weapon in our championship battles and pushed us to achieve unprecedented success."

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"He (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. Now, it is our challenge together to help him continue learning within our environment and alongside Lewis, the greatest F1 driver of all time. I am confident that as their relationship grows, they will form a strong team and deliver for Mercedes on and off the track in the years ahead."

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