The Formula One silly season is now in full swing. After much speculation, it has now been confirmed that George Russell will be driving for Mercedes next year. Mercedes have signed a long term deal with Russell, currency racing for Williams. The move was announced in a subsequent manner as on September 1, Alfa Romeo driver and former world champion, Kimi Raikkonen announced his retirement from the sport at the end of the season. The announcement was made prior to the Dutch Grand Prix.
On Monday after the race, Valtteri Bottas announced his move to fill in the seat at Alfa Romeo. Now finally, Mercedes have confirmed speculation that Russell will be driving alongside Lewis Hamilton in 2022 and beyond signing a long term deal.
George Russell, 23, is currently in his third F1 season. After much anticipation, Russell claimed his first championship points finish for Williams at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix. Russell also claimed his first podium finish at the subsequent race in Belgium with a second-place finish. After a stunning qualifying lap around The moist Spa-Francorchamps racetrack on Saturday, he out-qualified his future teammate and reigning world champion, Hamilton.
“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. It has been an honour working alongside every member of the team, and an honour to represent the Williams name in F1.” said Russell.
Williams are yet to announce Russell’s replacement for next year. The current favourites to fill in the vacant seat is former Red Bull driver, Alex Albon. However, Mercedes may be keen to get thier junior driver and Formula E world champion, Nyck de Vries. But Nicolas Latifi is likely to continue driving for Williams in 2022 in the other seat. In other news, AlphaTauri have also confirmed that Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda will continue to race with the team in 2022, while Red Bull have already decided not to disturb its current driver lineup of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez for next year.