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Russel signs for Mercedes to partner Hamilton in 2022

George Russell will join Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton’s next team-mate, with the world champions confirming their all-British 2022 driver line-up.

He replaces Valtteri Bottas, who is moving to Alfa Romeo after five seasons with Mercedes.

“It’s a huge opportunity and one I want to grab with both hands,” said Russell, who also paid tribute to Williams. “But I’m under no illusions as to the scale of the challenge; it’s going to be a steep learning curve.”

Toto Wolff added: “He has been a winner in every racing category – and the past three seasons with Williams have given us a taste of what the future could hold for him in F1.

“Now, it is our challenge together to help him continue learning within our environment and alongside Lewis, the greatest F1 driver of all time. I am confident that as their relationship grows, they will form a strong team and deliver for Mercedes on and off the track in the years ahead.”

George Russell eager to partner Hamilton next year

Russell’s signing follows tough deliberation from Mercedes as they weighed the known quantity of Bottas – who has challenged but not beaten seven-time champion Hamilton over a season – versus their rising F1 star.

In the end they opted for the man who as well as shining down the grid at Williams, starred in his one-off appearance in the Mercedes when filling in for Hamilton last December in Bahrain.

It results in F1’s first all-British driver line-up since Hamilton partnered Jenson Button at McLaren before joining Mercedes in 2013.

Since then, Hamilton’s team-mates have been Nico Rosberg, who he had an increasingly fierce rivalry with before the German retired after his title win in 2016, and Bottas, who restored harmony at Mercedes and who Hamilton recently hailed as his “best team-mate” in the sport.

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Russell has spoken glowingly about joining Hamilton, his idol and the most successful driver in F1 history.

“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,” he added.

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