Speaking of the move Russell said: “It's a special day for me personally and professionally, but also a day of mixed emotions.
“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. 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’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. “
The move is just the latest in a string of confirmations for the 2022 grid that have come in the wake of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. Before the race veteran Kimi Räikkönen confirmed that he would be leaving the sport at the end of the season, paving the way for Bottas to be confirmed at Alfa Romeo immediately after the race. Then AlphaTauri confirmed that it has retained the same line-up for 2022 before Russell’s move to Mercedes was announced.
The Williams seat that he vacates has still to be filled for the new season, with Mercedes and title rivals Red Bull appearing to fight a proxy war over the drive. Former Red Bull racer Alex Albon has been linked with the seat as well as Mercedes’ Formula E champion Nyck De Vries.
Today’s announcements leave the second seat at Alfa Romeo, one seat at Aston Martin, and both Haas and Williams seats still to be filled for 2022.
To read about all the drivers and teams for F1 2022 click here.
Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.