“I’m excited and humbled to be joining Mercedes next year, which is a huge career step,” declared Russell on his Instagram account. “But it also means I’ll be saying goodbye to my teammates and friends at Williams.” The youngster is aware of the difficulties he’ll be facing. “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.”
Between you and me, Russell is a little cheeky with this particular comment because he knows he’s one or two bars above the man he’ll replace at Mercedes-AMG Petronas. Remember the infamous collision at Imola between those two? 32-year-old Valtteri Bottas was nowhere near Lewis Hamilton’s blistering race pace, and getting outperformed by one of the worst cars on the grid says a lot about the talent of the Williams driver.
Toto Wolff, the big kahuna at Mercedes-AMG Petronas, let it slip that choosing Russell over Bottas wasn’t an easy decision or a straightforward process for the championship-winning squad from Brackley. Then again, the co-owner would say that because he used to manage VB77 until 2017.
On that note, is the up-and-coming Russell capable of scoring more points than Hamilton next year? Have your say in the comments section below.