THE Williams Formula One Team has confirmed that George Russell will be one of its drivers in the 2019 F1 World Championship.
The 20-year-old Brit will take the place of Lance Stroll who is expected to replace Esteban Ocon at Force India next season.
Stroll’s father, Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, heads a consortium of investors that took over the team earlier this year.
Russell is currently a reserve driver for Mercedes-AMG, which has been keen to find him a seat following an impressive Formula 2 season this year.
He’s currently leading the season. He also won the BRDC Formula 4 Championship in 2014 and the GP3 Series in 2017, with both occasions being a first attempt.
“Formula 1 has been a life-long dream,” he said.
“From watching the races when I was a child, it feels surreal that I will now be lining up on the grid, alongside drivers whom I have admired for years.”
He will be one of three British drivers in F1 next year, the others being Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris, who will replaces Belgian driver Stoffel Van Doorne at McLaren. Norris is just 18.
While Stroll is confirmed to be leaving the team next season, Williams is yet to announce plans for its other driver, Sergey Sirotkin.
In other changes, Alfa Romeo Sauber has also picked a rookie driver for the 2019 season in Italian star Antonio Giovinazzi as the replacement for Marcus Ericsson.
And at Toro Rosso, Russian driver Daniil Kvyat will make a return, replacing Pierre Gasly who will take Daniel Ricciardo’s place at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing as Ricciardo decamps to Renault.
Toro Rosso is yet to announce whether its other driver, Brendon Hartley, of New Zealand, will be with the team next season.