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Williams sign Russell for 2019 season

  • Published on 12 Oct 2018 11:29
  • comments 11
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Williams has confirmed that Formula 2 championship leader George Russell will join the team for the 2019 season. Russell, who is a Mercedes junior driver, has been heavily linked with the driver over the last number of weeks.

The 20-year-old won the GP3 Series championship in 2017 and this year graduated into Formula 2. The Briton has taken six wins this year and is on the verge of winning the championship with just one round remaining in Abu Dhabi.

Mercedes signed Russell to its junior programme at the start of 2017. He made his F1 weekend debut last year in Brazil, where he received a free practice outing with Force India. He confirmed that he had a chance to drive during FP1 this year at Monza, but turned the opportunity down to focus on his F2 charge.

It is not yet clear who Russell's teammate for his maiden season will be, however the clear favourites is current Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin and reserve driver Robert Kubica. Lance Stroll is set to leave Williams at the end of the year to join Force India, as his father now controls the Silverstone squad.

"It is a huge honour to join a team of Williams’ prestige and heritage," Russell said. "Formula 1 has been a life-long dream. From watching the races when I was a child, it feels surreal that I will now be lining up on the grid, alongside drivers whom I have admired for years.

"I would like to thank Claire [Williams] and everyone at Williams for their faith in making this decision, as well as Mercedes, for their unparalleled support throughout GP3, Formula 2 and this year in F1.

"I am incredibly excited to start working with everyone at Grove and to take my first steps as a Formula One race driver. I cannot wait for Melbourne next year and to join Williams at the start of this exciting part of their journey.”

Russel's impressive junior formulae career began after he won the British Formula 4 title in his opening season in the series in 2014. One year later, he progressed to the European Formula 3 champion, where he finished third with Hitech GP in 2016.

Russell has received an abundance of F1 testing this year, driving for Force India and Mercedes during the in-season tests at Barcelona and Hungary.

Replies (11)

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  • Niids

    Posts: 43

    hmm, interesting, rumors about Russel said also his teammate would be Kubica...

    • + 0
    • Oct 12 2018 - 11:36
  • Kubica brings 10 MUSD, while Sirotkin brings 20 MUSD

    money become king if the picked Russell who brings cheaper engines and parts.

    • + 1
    • Oct 12 2018 - 11:44
    • xoya

      Posts: 583

      To be fair, money was always king in F1. The difference for Williams nowadays being that they are now backmarkers instead of leaders, hence their not being able to earn enough on their own and needing to resort to pay drivers.

      • + 0
      • Oct 12 2018 - 11:55
    • Niids

      Posts: 43

      I think if it would be money factor only they would choose two russians. Mentioned rumors said Williams is aware of failure of theirs current season driver strategy, so keep thumbs, at least I will ;). But to be fair, if they tightend bonds with Merceders probably Ocon is more probable (it also would be a huge lost, if he won't get any seat in 2019)

      • + 0
      • Oct 12 2018 - 11:58
    • I think Ocon is the only choice now since losing seat for 2019 and knowing younger Mercedes driver got the seat would end his Mercedes programm immediately. However there is another option. He could accept no seat for 2019 if Toto give him Bottas' seat for 2020

      • + 0
      • Oct 12 2018 - 12:17
  • I wish him the best and I hope the car is better than the current one.
    (I must be honest and when I saw an image of him, I thought it was a girl.. lol oops! my mistake!)

    • + 0
    • Oct 12 2018 - 19:58
    • Hehe I kinda get what you say. At first glance he kinda looks a bit feminine. :)

      • + 0
      • Oct 12 2018 - 20:09
    • Kean

      Posts: 692

      It’s the eyes. Gorgeous. But also a bit “my precious” eyes

      • + 0
      • Oct 13 2018 - 08:32
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      Funny .. Is he more smegeol or Gollum?

      • + 0
      • Oct 13 2018 - 09:36
    • Kean

      Posts: 692

      I'm thinking Smeagol. But I think my personal nickname for him will be Gorgeous George, and if and when he DNF's I'll hear Jason Statham's voice in my head saying "We've lost Gorgeous George".

      • + 1
      • Oct 13 2018 - 10:12
    • Well, he is in a sport with pretty short people, so I guess I will imagine him saying "stupid hobbits" whenever he is involved in an incident. XD

      • + 1
      • Oct 13 2018 - 11:25

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Driver profile

  • Team Williams
  • Points 3
  • Podiums 0
  • Grand Prix 40
  • Country United Kingdom
  • Date of b. Feb 15 1998 (23)
  • Place of b. King's Lynn, United Kingdom
  • Weight 70 kg
  • Length 1.85 m
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