Williams Racing has announced that current Formula 2 Championship leader George Russell will join the team for the 2019 season onwards.
“I am delighted to announce that George Russell will be joining Williams from the 2019 season,” commented Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal. “We have always tried to promote and develop young talent at Williams, and George fits that ethos perfectly. He is already highly regarded in the paddock and a driver whose career we have been watching for a while.
“In the time we have spent with him so far, we believe that he will be a great fit for our team; his commitment, passion and dedication is exactly what we need to drive the positive momentum building at Grove as we focus on the future. We are extremely excited to welcome George and work with him moving forward.”
Russell is one of the hottest prospects in the sport, having won the BRDC Formula 4 Championship at his first attempt as well as becoming the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner.
Having raced in the Formula 3 European Championship for two seasons, Russell won the GP3 championship in his rookie 2017 season with two races to spare.
“It is a huge honor to join a team of Williams’ prestige and heritage,” said Russell. “Formula One 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 and everyone at Williams for their faith in making this decision, as well as Toto and the team at Mercedes for their fantastic support throughout GP3 and Formula 2.”
I've dreamed of this moment for as long as I can remember…
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) October 12, 2018
He is no stranger to the workings of a Formula One car, juggling the role of Test and Reserve Driver role for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport whilst leading the FIA Formula 2 Championship this year.
“I am incredibly excited to start working with everyone at Grove and to take my first steps as a Formula One race driver,” added the Englishman. “I cannot wait for Melbourne next year and to join Williams at the start of what we all believe will be the start of an exciting new journey.”
Williams will certainly be hoping that the omens are good. Russell is the latest in a distinguished line of Englishmen to drive for the famous team, following world champions Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Jenson Button into a race seat.
Top image: Chief Technical Officer of Williams Racing Paddy Lowe and George Russell during the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix.