Jost Capito joined Williams at the back end of last year and revealed how impressed he’d been with the “dedicated, focused and talented” George Russell.
Williams team principal Jost Capito has expressed his delight following current driver George Russell’s move to world champions Mercedes from 2022. Russell will be seen driving alongside Lewis Hamilton next season, as Valtteri Bottas heads to Alfa Romeo. Capito stated he was impressed with the “dedicated, focused and talented” Russell. The Williams team principal further believes that his team has no shortage of “strong options” to choose from as a replacement, with former Red Bull driver Alex Albon believed to be the frontrunner.
“Over the past three years, it’s been clear to every member of staff here at Williams just how dedicated, focused, and talented George is through his contributions to the team both on and off track,” said Capito.
“He has all the characteristics necessary to achieve the greatest success in our sport and we are therefore delighted for him, both as a team and me personally, to see him rewarded with the opportunity to test himself at Mercedes. We will watch his progress with interest and pride, knowing the role Williams has played in developing his considerable skills,” he added.
“Were of course aware of this possibility coming to fruition and therefore have a number of strong driver options available to us. We now look forward to shaping our future line-up that will help us take the next step in our exciting journey as a team and will make any announcement in due course,” concluded Capito.
Russell is enjoying his most fruitful season in Formula 1 yet. He made his F1 debut with Williams in 2019. The Briton took his maiden podium in Belgium last month in the rain-curtailed event. Russell has earned the nickname ‘Mr Saturday’ owing to his consistently impressive qualifying performances including P2 at Spa-Francorchamps.
“It’s a special day for me personally and professionally, but also a day of mixed emotions. I’m excited and humbled to be joining Mercedes next year, which is a huge career step, but it also means I’ll be saying goodbye to my team mates and friends at Williams. It has been an honour working alongside every member of the team, and an honour to represent the Williams name in F1,” he said.
“Looking ahead to next season, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely buzzing. It’s a huge opportunity and one I want to grab with both hands. But I’m under no illusions as to the scale of the challenge; it’s going to be a steep learning curve. Valtteri has set a high bar, consistently delivering week in and week out, scoring wins, pole positions and helping win multiple championship titles. My target must be to reward the trust that Toto [Wolff, Team Principal], the team, and the board have placed in me by ensuring I play my part in continuing that success and I want to do my new team-mates proud,” concluded Russell.