F2 leader and Mercedes junior George Russell has been announced by Williams to drive for the team in 2019.
The 20-year-old graduated from GP3 to F2 in 2018 and is close to repeating Charles Leclerc’s 2017 season by winning the title in his debut season.
“It is a huge honour 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.”
The 2014 Mclaren Autosport BDRC winner, who has completed a number of tests and practice sessions for Mercedes and Force India, has been signed on a “multi-year deal” and is expected to partner Sergey Sirotkin as Lance Stroll will likely move to Force India next season. Although this will leave another Mercedes junior ‘Esteban Ocon’ without a drive.
Williams deputy team principal Claire Willaims said:
“I am delighted to announce that George Russell will be joining Williams from the 2019 season. 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.”
There are now only 4 seats left for 2019 with 2 Force India and 1 Toro Rosso & Willaims seats unocupied.