We reported here at 12oz Sports after the Dutch Grand Prix from The Netherlands that there may be some trouble at Mercedes. After the team realized Lewis Hamilton could not recover from an early Max Verstappen (Red Bull) lead, they instructed teammate Valtteri Bottas not to set the fastest lap, as the driver with the fastest lap each race gets a bonus point in the standings, and a Verstappen win put him ahead of Lewis, making points all that more important. However, Bottas set the fastest lap on Lap 70 of 72, causing Mercedes to bring Lewis into the pits for a tire change to soft, just in time for Lewis to set the fastest lap on the final lap. We speculated that may spark some in-fighting with the team.
Well, just one day removed from the race, Bottas announced he will be leaving Mercedes to race for Alfa Romeo in 2022.
Mercedes has announced that their 23-year-old F1 Junior racer, George Russell, will join them in 2022 to replace Bottas. Russell made the jump from Juniors to F1 but not with Mercedes, the brit has raced beautifully for three seasons on the Williams racing team. Mercedes will now hold the first-ever all British driver duo since Hamilton partnered with Jenson Button at McLaren before joining Mercedes in 2013, according to Sky Sports (2021).
George Russell on Twitter: "It's official. Next year, I'll be a Mercedes F1 driver. This is a special day for me and I want to say a huge thank you to @WilliamsRacing, @MercedesAMGF1 and everyone who has supported me in getting to where I am today. I couldn't have done it without every single one of you. 💙 pic.twitter.com/MmGA1vr9mR / Twitter"
It's official. Next year, I'll be a Mercedes F1 driver. This is a special day for me and I want to say a huge thank you to @WilliamsRacing, @MercedesAMGF1 and everyone who has supported me in getting to where I am today. I couldn't have done it without every single one of you.
~Michael Patrick Day, Irish Proud & 12oz Sports Writer
Main article photo: https://unsplash.com/@clementdelacre
Morlidge, M (2021). George Russell signs for Mercedes: British driver to join Lewis Hamilton for 2022 Formula 1 season. Sky Sports. Retrieved https://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12040/12401089/george-russell-signs-for-mercedes-british-driver-to-join-lewis-hamilton-for-2022-formula-1-season