British driver George Russell says it is an honour to have been handed a drive in Formula 1 next season by Williams. The 20-year-old has come through Mercedes’ youth development programme and has caused a stir in Formula 2 this season, leading the standings heading into the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi next month.
Having won GP3 at the first attempt last year, the Norfolk-born driver is now looking to follow in the footsteps of Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and 2017 champion Charles Leclerc in claiming the F2 title.
His performances in the junior single-seater classifications clearly caught the eye of Williams, who have signed Russell to a multi-year deal, much to the Brit’s delight.
“It is a huge honour to join a team of Williams’ prestige and heritage,” said Russell. “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.”
“We have always tried to promote and develop young talent at Williams, and George fits that ethos perfectly,” Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams added.
“He is already highly regarded in the paddock and a driver whose career we have been watching for a while.”
Russell completes one half of Williams’ driver line-up with either Sergey Sirotkin or Robert Kubica expected to be given the other spot for 2019.