Wisbech driver George Russell was in dreamland today (October 12) after it was confirmed he will race in the 2019 Formula One season.
The 20 year-old has been a dominant force in Formula Two racing this season. He leads that Championship by 37 points with two races to go.
But next season he will be lining up alongside motor sport’s biggest names including 2018 Formula One champion-elect Lewis Hamilton, one of Russell’s mentors, after winning a seat with British team Williams.
“I’ve dreamed of this moment for as long as I can remember,” Russell told his 25,000 Twitter followers today. “And now I can finally say it. I’ll officially be a Formula One driver for Williams!
“To everyone who made this possible, thank you. It means the world to me. I can’t wait to get started.”
Russell has been in the Mercedes young driver programme for the last two years. He has studied at close quarters how Hamilton prepares for his races.
Williams have struggled to be competitive in recent seasons, but Russell told the BBC: “My goal is to become F1 world champion one day and to do that I have to be the best, and learning from someone like the Mercedes team and from Lewis is a great opportunity and showed me that you cannot just rely on talent alone.”
Russell becomes the third British driver to be confirmed for 2019 after Hamilton and fellow rookie Lando Norris.
Williams deputy team principle Claire Williams also told the BBC: “We have always tried to promote and develop young talent at Williams, and George fits that ethos perfectly.
“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 are exactly what we need.”
If all goes well Russell will make his F1 debut in Melbourne, Australia in March.