Next season George Russell will be – finally – driving a Mercedes one-seater. The long-awaited announcement was made public this morning and here is what Williams Racing CEO Jost Capito had to say about it:
"Over the past three years, it's been clear to every member of staff here at Williams just how dedicated, focused, and talented George is through his contributions to the team both on and off track. He has all the characteristics necessary to achieve the greatest success in our sport and we are therefore delighted for him, both as a team and me personally, to see him rewarded with the opportunity to test himself at Mercedes. We will watch his progress with interest and pride, knowing the role Williams has played in developing his considerable skills.”
The British team is quite proud of the driver Russell has become and it couldn’t be otherwise, as he has proved to be among the brightest talents on the F1 grid.
Despite having joined Williams in a moment of great crisis, he has grown a lot and has quite a few memorable memories to cherish.
“It's been an incredible journey these past three years. And I just want to say a huge thank you to Clare and to Sir Frank for giving me this opportunity in Formula One, which I will remember for the rest of my life,” said Russell in his farewell to the team.
“The experiences we've shared together, especially recently the double points finish in Hungary and then that front row start qualifying P2 in Spa, ultimately going on to score the podium is something I will also remember forever.”
Only Championship leader Max Verstappen managed to take the pole position from him in Spa, where he secured a front row start after an incredible lap on the wet track.
That is a STONKING lap 🔥— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) August 28, 2021
Thanks to that remarkable performance he stepped on the podium for the very first time in his F1 career.
To the team trackside and all those back home - this one is for YOU 💙 pic.twitter.com/3Ui38n7mWv— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) August 29, 2021
Last nine races ahead will close the 2021 season and mark the end of Russell’s journey at Williams.
“I just want to say a huge thank you to everybody. I'm really looking forward to the final nine races to finish the job off in style,” he concluded.
With him joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes and Valtteri Bottas moving to Alfa Romeo to fill in Kimi Raikkonen’s seat, Williams is now focusing on signing a driver to complete their 2022 line up. So who will be Nicholas Latifi’s new teammate?
“We were of course aware of this possibility coming to fruition and therefore have a number of strong driver options available to us. We now look forward to shaping our future line-up that will help us take the next step in our exciting journey as a team and will make any announcement in due course," concluded Capito.
Whaaat?! I thought team-mates who vacation together stay together... Was our holiday bromance all for nothing?! 🤨😂 In all seriousness super happy for you man! A well deserved opportunity that I know you’ll take full advantage of! Been a pleasure to drive alongside you!👊🏻 pic.twitter.com/h8HuX9eY2c— Nicholas Latifi (@NicholasLatifi) September 7, 2021