Published On: Fri, Oct 12th, 2018

Williams sign George Russell: Mercedes man joins F1 from 2019 | F1 | Sport

Williams are preparing for the expected departure of Lance Stroll to Racing Point Force India.

And they have wasted little time getting Russell in to the team.

“It is a huge honour to join a team of Williams’ prestige and heritage,” said Russell.

“I would like to thank Claire [Williams] 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 race driver.

“I cannot wait for Melbourne next year and to join Williams at what we all believe will be the start of an exciting new journey.”

Russell, 20, has signed a ‘multi-year agreement’ with Williams but will maintain his link with Mercedes.

The Brit has been a test driver for German team Mercedes.

He is all set to win the F2 title this season and deputy team principal Claire Williams explained he is ready for the big time.

“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.

“We are extremely excited to welcome George and working with him moving forward.”

Who Russell will partner at Williams remains to be seen.

Russian Sergey Sirotkin is keen to keep his seat at the team after beating off rivals to get on the F1 grid last winter.

Sirotkin currently sits bottom of the Drivers’ Championship, however, with just one point to his name.

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Williams sign George Russell: Mercedes man joins F1 from 2019 | F1 | Sport