F1 2019: George Russell reveals how call to Williams set up F1 promotion
Russell to drive for Williams in 2019 as one of three Brits on the grid
Last Updated: 04/12/18 4:54pm
George Russell has revealed how an opportunistic phone call set in motion his appointment to the F1 grid in 2019.
Russell, a graduate from Mercedes' young driver programme, will drive for Williams next year after signing a 'multi-year' deal with the team.
The catalyst for the move was Russell's association with Paddy Lowe, who stood down as Mercedes' technical director two years ago to join Williams.
"I knew Paddy from when he was at Mercedes and three months ago l gave Paddy a phone call," Russell revealed to Sky Sports. "I said 'right, Paddy, l want to be in Formula 1 and l want to drive for Williams, could we arrange a meeting with yourself and Claire?'".
"Half a week later l was in Hockenheim sat in their office and things progressed from there."
Williams are yet to confirm the identity of their second driver for next season but it's likely the seat will be filled by either Sergey Sirotkin or Robert Kubica.
The team, which dominated F1 in the 1980s and early 1990s, has fallen on hard times in 2018 but Russell believes he is in a good position to prosper.
"Jenson Button, David Coulthard and Nico Rosberg all made their debuts in F1 at Williams so l feel like l am in a fantastic place and l am really looking forward to being part of this journey to bring Williams to a better season."
Alongside Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris, promoted to a full race seat at McLaren, Russell will be one of at least three Brits on the grid next year.
Russell is likely to drive a Williams car for the first time in the season-ending Abu Dhabi test next month before making his full debut in the 2019 Australian GP, provisionally scheduled for March 17.
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