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Wolff welcomes new Mercedes driver Russell: Hasn't been an easy process

Wolff welcomes new Mercedes driver Russell: "Hasn't been an easy process"

07-09-2021 10:12 Last update: 10:42
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Valtteri Bottas has left Mercedes and finally George Russell will make the step to the big Mercedes under the leadership of Toto Wolff. The relatively young Russell brings new blood into the Mercedes ranks after five years. It promises to be an interesting team with the young rookie and seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton. Wolff looks ahead.

Russell breaks Mercedes duo after five years

On Monday, Alfa Romeo confirmed that Bottas will join the team in 2022. Hamilton and Bottas have formed a strong partnership over the years, with the Finnish driver offering support to the seven-times World Champion. Wolff explains how difficult a decision it was to make. 

"This hasn't been an easy process or a straightforward decision for us. Valtteri has done a fantastic job over the past five seasons and he has made an essential contribution to our success and to our growth. Together with Lewis, he has built a benchmark partnership between two team-mates in the sport, and that has been a valuable weapon in our championship battles and pushed us to achieve unprecedented success," Wolff said.

"He would absolutely have deserved to stay with the team, and I am pleased that he has been able to choose an exciting challenge with Alfa next year to continue his career at the top level of the sport; when the time comes, he will leave us with huge goodwill from every single member of the team, and he will forever be part of the Mercedes family."

2022 Russell and Hamilton

But now Russell joins the Mercedes team to form an all British partnership with Hamilton. The young talent has impressed at Williams, and Wolff rewards that by giving him a promotion ready for the 2022 season. 

"Looking forward to 2022, we are very happy to confirm that George will have the opportunity to take the next step in his career and join Mercedes. 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. It's a weight off our shoulders to have our plans for 2022 clear and announced; but now, our focus returns to the final nine races of this season and putting everything into our challenge for this year's world championships," Wolff added. 

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