“I remember meeting him when he was young”– Lewis Hamilton welcomes his compatriot George Russell into Mercedes, who will join in 2022.
Less than 24 hours from Valtteri Bottas to Alfa Romeo announcement, George Russell was announced by Mercedes to partner the seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) September 7, 2021
Hamilton, his compatriot, welcomes the 23-year-old sensation into the fold reminiscing the day he met when Russell was really young and was holding the dream of F1 in his eyes.
“I want to take a moment to welcome @georgerussell63 to the team. I remember meeting him when he was young, dreaming of one day being a Formula 1 driver. I’d only just reached my own dream of becoming an F1 driver,” said Hamilton on his social media accounts.
“So I know what this day means and how it will feel for him. He is a great example to all the kids out there that dreams do come true when you chase them wholeheartedly.”
“Through hard work, he has rightly earned his spot on our team. I look forward to seeing him grow as a driver with this great team and working with him to raise @mercedesamgf1 higher. See you next year🙏🏾”
I want to take a moment to welcome @GeorgeRussell63 to the team. Through hard work he has rightly earned his spot. I look forward to seeing him grow as a driver with this great team and working with him to raise @MercedesAMGF1 higher. See you next year🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/CRsgrilmUd
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) September 7, 2021
Special days with mixed emotions
Definitely, it’s a big day for Russell, who has dreamt of driving a Mercedes F1 car for almost the last five years. But at the same time, it is moving for him to leave Williams, which has been his abode for the last three years.
“It’s a special day for me personally and professionally, but also a day of mixed emotions,” said Russell. “I’m excited and humbled to be joining Mercedes next year, which is a huge career step, but it also means I’ll be saying goodbye to my team mates and friends at Williams.”
“It has been an honour working alongside every member of the team, and an honour to represent the Williams name in F1. Looking ahead to next season, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely buzzing.”
“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.”
“My target must be to reward the trust that Toto [Wolff, Team Principal], the team, and the board have placed in me by ensuring I play my part in continuing that success and I want to do my new team-mates proud.”
“Of course, one of those new teammates 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.”
“For now, though, I have nine more races as a Williams driver, and I want to make sure they are the best nine of my time with the team. Then, and only then, can I turn my attention to 2022.”