Russell to play for Mercedes’ Hamilton, ITK debut with Williams

Zeus Russell will stand for Lewis Hamilton and his Williams will become Mercedes at the Grand Prix this weekend.

Williams Driver and Mercedes Junior World Champion, who will not be able to compete for the Covid-19 after a positive test this weekend, will have his options.

Russell’s place in Williams will be taken by the team’s reserve driver Jack Itkain, who will make his debut in Formula 1.

Russell thanked his team for giving him the opportunity to drive for the world champions. “I may be wearing a different race suit later this weekend, but I’m a Williams driver and I will encourage my team every step of the way,” he said.

“I now see the opportunity to learn from the best grid decorations and come back as an advanced driver with more energy and more experience to help William move further into the grid. I also thank Mercedes for their trust in me.

“Obviously, no one can replace Lewis, but from the moment I get in the car I will give my all for the team in his absence. Most importantly, I wish her a speedy recovery. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity and can’t wait to get off track this week. “

Aitken, who drove Williams’ car in practice earlier this year, said he had the opportunity to make his F-19 debut and was “extremely pleased to have George on his side.”

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“I really want to say that when I joined Williams earlier this year I got a lot of feeling here at home, so it’s a very satisfying occasion to have the opportunity to help the team try to finish that elusive point which I don’t want to say at least.

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“I will try my best to prepare in the coming days, but the truth is, I think I was ready from Melbourne. I would also like to wish Lewis well and wish George a chance to drive a Mercedes this weekend. ”

Mercedes CEO Toto Wolf thanked Williams for “their cooperation and free thinking” in releasing Russell to drive this weekend.

“Converting from Williams to W11 will not be a straightforward task for George, but he is race-ready and has a thorough knowledge of 2020 tires and how they perform with this generation of cars. George has had a great impact with Williams this year, helping them climb to the top of the grid, and I am hopeful that he will be gifted with a strong performance alongside Voltaire, who will be a contender for him. “

Mercedes reserve driver Stuffel Vandurn was expected to play a role in replacing Hamilton this weekend. Russell will be the first Mercedes Junior driver for the team since returning to the F1 10 years ago.

“We have a job to do this weekend, and the whole focus of our sporting effort to maximize our points score as a team will be behind Voltaire and George,” Wolf said. “But of course our thoughts are with Lewis and we will support him as much as possible to recover quickly during his period of self-isolation.”

This article will be updated.

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2020 F1 season

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