F1 | Sao Paulo GP | Russell to start with Mercedes immediately after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, will take part in post-season test
Williams Racing driver George Russell will begin his duties at Mercedes after the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Brit will test for Mercedes at the post-season 18-inch tyre test held at Yas Marina.
George Russell has stated that he will begin his work with Mercedes straight after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with the Brit being confirmed to drive for the team in the post-season 18-inch tire test held at Yas Marina.
The 23-year-old from Kings Lynn was confirmed to drive for the team on the eve of this year's Italian Grand Prix with Russell replacing Finland's Valtteri Bottas, who moves to Alfa Romeo Racing in place of the retiring Kimi Raikkonen.
In his final season for Williams, Russell secured Williams first podium for over four years with second place in the rain-shortened Belgium Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps, with Russell also scoring points at the Hungaroring Monza and Sochi.
These results, along with Nicholas Latifi's two points finishes at the Hungaroring and Spa, have helped Williams skyrocket up to eighth in the constructors' championship ahead of Alfa Romeo and Haas.
But despite these successes, Russell will not be switching off from Formula 1 when the checkered flag falls in Yas Marina, with the Brit getting straight down to work with his new team on the Monday after the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where he will conduct testing of Pirelli's new 18 inch tires before heading to Mercedes' factory in Brackley to do some simulator work.
“It will be Monday morning after the Abu Dhabi race, and it will be 120% focus on all things Mercedes; I'll be driving the test afterwards and then back in the factory as I fly back from the test straight to the factory. We will do some simulator and meet some more people."
Russell's association with Mercedes began in 2017 when he joined the team's young drivers program, with the Brit testing for the team at the Hungaroring in August of that year.
He also cameoed for Mercedes in last year's Sakhir Grand Prix, replacing future teammate Lewis Hamilton after the reigning World Champion had tested positive for COVID-19.
But despite leading for most of the race after starting second behind Bottas, Russell suffered a heartbreaking late-race puncture that robbed him of his maiden Grand Prix victory.
Russell now believes that he is in a very fortunate position where he knows everyone in the team in the same way he did at Williams.
“I'm in a very fortunate position because I've obviously spent so much time with Mercedes as a team from 2016 all the way through until 2018; Whenever we see each other at the airports or the tracks, I know them as well as I know almost everybody at Williams, really. I'm in a very fortunate position that I'm going into a group and a family that I know so well."