A young driver George Russell is among the current title contenders for the F2 championship. He was announced as the new Williams driver for the 2019 Formula 1.
The Formula 2 star received the biggest of promotions, and will join the F1 circus in 2019. The young Briton racer signed a multi-year deal with the legendary team, and is the first new driver announced by Williams, while the second Williams is still to be announced.
George is a protégé of Mercedes, and part of the Silver Arrows young driver program. He currently sits atop this season’s F2 standings.George Russell commented on his big career decision, saying, “It is a huge honor to join a team of Williams’ prestige and heritage. 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 and everyone at Williams for their faith in making this decision, as well as Toto (Wolff) and the team at Mercedes for their fantastic support throughout GP3 and Formula 2. I am incredibly excited to start working with everyone at Grove and to take my first steps as a Formula 1 race driver.
I cannot wait for Melbourne next year and to join Williams at the start of this exciting part of their journey.” The feeling of excitement is strong with the young British ace, who has a bright future ahead of him.
When he comes into the series, Russell will be the third Englishmen in F1, joining the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris. It had to be the 20-year-old’s agreement to stay at Williams longer than their second choice, Ocon from Force India. Although having an impressive run at his team over the past two years, Williams chose the promising younger driver with the future of their team in mind. Russel now leads the F2 competition by 37 points, as he is in front of Alexander Albon. Only 48 points remain available in the finale in Abu Dhabi next month.
As a member of the Mercedes young driver program for the past two years, Russell was a part of a number of tests, as well as of two practice sessions with the Force India team last year.
Claire Williams, the deputy team principal, spokes highly of him. She recently commented on the driver, saying, “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.” From this, we can see that she is a fan and expects a lot from her new driver.
As mentioned earlier, the second seat at Williams still does not have an owner at this time. Some believe that Robert Kubica, the reserve driver, and Sergey Sirotkin are so far the front-runners for the spot. Lance Stroll, the current Williams driver will probably move to Force India next season, which means he would be joining Sergio Perez in the team.
These developments mean that there are four empty seats currently in the Formula 1 competition for the 2019 season, one at Sauber, one at Williams and both seats at Force India.
Next season is probably going to be dramatically different for the better at Williams, after the disappointing 2018 season where they will probably finish dead last in the constructors’ standings. There are bound to be overall improvements for the team, especially with its new drivers onboard. The future is bright for the famous F1 team, and we cannot wait for the next season.