Is bottas leaving Mercedes next year?
Valtteri Bottas will leave Mercedes to race for Alfa Romeo in 2022, paving the way for George Russell to join the world champions and partner Lewis Hamilton next year. ESPNWhy the time is right for Valtteri Bottas to make way for George Russell
In a shocking turn of events, the Williams backmarker has been promoted to F1's most dominant team. Who could've seen this coming?
In what has perhaps been the most well-kept secret in the racing world, the 23-year old British driver, who has had a best finish of second in the controversial 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, will join seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton at the most dominant team of the V-6 hybrid era.
There has been absolutely zero indication Russell had any chance moving from Williams to the very best. It's not like Russell has maintained a strong relationship with Mercedes-AMG for years now, or even drove for the team once in 2020 when Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19, or anything. Really, who could've seen this coming?
Russell has been one of the least interesting drivers to enter the field in recent years, with little to no results to back up his promotion. It's safe to say there will be absolutely no close battles or conflicts between him and Hamilton, who will now be on level playing fields for 2022 which, coincidentally, will feature a major revamp of the F1 car design. We expect Russell to sit back and act as a team player to help Hamilton cruise to victory, rather than fight for wins. It's not like he has the talent to do anything else, right?
Read full article at RoadandTrack.com
07 September, 2021 - 02:20pm
07 September, 2021 - 04:45am
George Russell vows to make the most of the "huge opportunity" that has come his way with Mercedes, but the Briton says he is under "no illusions" about the scale of the challenge he will face alongside Lewis Hamilton in the future.
Mercedes confirmed on Tuesday Russell's anticipated move to the championship winning outfit from 2022 where the Briton will replace Alfa Romeo-bound Valtteri Bottas.
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't absolutely buzzing," Russell commented. "It's a huge opportunity and one I want to grab with both hands.
"But I'm under no illusions as to the scale of the challenge; it's going to be a steep learning curve.
"Valtteri has set a high bar, consistently delivering week in and week out, scoring wins, pole positions and helping win multiple championship titles.
"Of course, one of those new team-mates is in my opinion the greatest driver of all time.
"I've looked up to Lewis since I was in go-karts and the opportunity to learn from someone who has become a role model both on and off track can only benefit me as a driver, a professional, and a human being."
Russell's move to Mercedes is a huge career step for the 23-year-old, but the Briton admitted to feeling emotional about leaving his trusty Williams team behind.
"I'm excited and humbled to be joining Mercedes next year, but it also means I'll be saying goodbye to my team-mates and friends at Williams," he said.
"It has been an honour working alongside every member of the team, and an honour to represent the Williams name in F1.
"Since I joined in 2019, we have worked tirelessly to push each other forward and bring the team back up the grid where it belongs.
"We've battled for every qualifying position, every point, and every tenth of a second. No matter how tough it's been, nobody has ever given up, and that has inspired me every day.
"I've loved every moment in what I'd describe as a true heart and soul racing team, and I'll be pushing harder than ever to make sure we end our story in the best possible way."
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