Mercedes Formula 1 team have announced George Russell to be their second driver for the 2022 season. Russell will be partnering with his fellow Brit Lewis Hamilton in Silver Arrows next Formula 1 season.
The defending Constructors’ World champions have finally made their decision, which they spent months evaluating. Valtteri Bottas’ move to Alfa Romeo was announced on Monday. As a result, George Russell’s path was clear.
Silver Arrows announced the decision on Tuesday. The 23-year-old has been having his best Formula 1 season so far. The Brit scored his first points with Williams in Hungary and stood on the podium for the first time in his F1 career in Belgium.
Nicknamed ‘Mr. Qualifying.’, Russell has been showing why he earned the name. His qualifying runs have not gone unnoticed by the Silver Arrows. Russell will be partnering up with Lewis Hamilton.
Why Mercedes decided to go with George Russell?
The decision came down to two options. Toto Wolff could either retain Valtteri Bottas or he could bring in young blood to the mix. Russell was the key factor, as if Russell was out of the mix, Valtteri would surely have retained his seat.
Russell’s recent form and the progression he has shown over the years is too obvious to ignore. His qualifying runs with one of the slowest cars on the grid have been nothing but commendable.
Being a Mercedes junior driver, Russell was bound to end up in a Mercedes powered car. Mercedes believe that Russell will be able to deliver on the promise and exceed all the expectations.
Russell has shown his impressive ability to read the races well and respond accordingly. Moreover, the Silver Arrows will be hoping that Lewis takes the fellow Brit under his wing. George Russell would appreciate training and racing with arguably one of the best Formula 1 drivers on the planet.
What it means for George and Williams?
Mercedes have decided to take the leap of faith as George is a long term project. He might end up under Lewis’ shadow, which is quite hard to escape, in his starting years at the Silver Arrows, but they believe it to be a long game.
Both Lewis and the team believe George to be the ‘future’. So there will be no mistreatment as some allege in Valtteri Bottas’ case.
“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 teammates and friends at Williams,” he added.
Alex Albon will be taking Russell’s empty Williams seat. Nicholas Latifi will also be retaining his seat at Williams.