Toto Wolff Reveals ‘Key Factors’ in Reaching Williams Agreement over Russell Replacing Hamilton at Mercedes

Published 12/02/2020, 2:42 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – Williams’ George Russell during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


With a lot of rumors that persisted with regards to who would replace Lewis Hamilton at the upcoming Sakhir GP race, Mercedes have officially confirmed the news. Williams’ driver George Russell will now partner Valtteri Bottas over the forthcoming race weekend at Sakhir.

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The opportunity came up when it was declared that Hamilton had tested positive for coronavirus. As a result of that, it required him to go into self-isolation and thus, miss the race at Sakhir.

It serves as a brilliant chance for Russell, though, who is yet to take any points in his F1 career so far. The Mercedes car will naturally be a step up from the Williams that he is currently driving. So, he can prove his real racecraft, with what will be the best car on the grid.

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Mercedes announce George Russell as Hamilton’s replacement for Sakhir GP

Taking to Twitter, the defending champions put out an official statement which contained team principal Toto Wolff’s words about the change. Naturally, this will be an enormous chance for Russell to show what he has got, ever since winning the F2 championship in 2018.

Excerpts of the statement read, “The conversations with the team at Williams were positive and pragmatic, and those were the key factors in reaching an agreement.”

“It will not be a straightforward task for George to make the transition from the Williams to the W11, but he is race-ready and has detailed understanding of the 2020 tyres and how they perform on this generation of cars.”

“George has shown impressive form this year with Williams, playing an instrumental role in their climb up the grid, and I am optimistic that he will deliver a strong performance alongside Valtteri, who will be a demanding reference for him,” concluded Wolff.

Things could even take a turn for the better for the young 22-year-old if he can go on to secure a podium with the famed and powerful W11. He will naturally face challenges from Bottas and Verstappen, but if he can get the right groove in the car, he will definitely stand a chance.

Reserve driver Jack Aitken will drive for Williams F1 in the same forthcoming race

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Russell driving for Mercedes opens up a chance for reserve driver Jack Aitken to drive for the Williams F1 team in place of Russell.

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The young British driver has achieved a good level of success in junior racing so far. He won the Hungarian GP feature race with ART Grand Prix Racing back in the 2018 GP3 Series. And in 2019, he achieved a race win in the F2 Baku GP feature race, which was supplemented by another glorious victory at Silverstone.

Aitken has been a constant in the F2 championship this season, driving for Campos Racing. Now, he will have the opportunity to showcase his own credentials of racing in the premier motorsport division.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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