1. ITV Report

George Russell: Cambridgeshire driver signs deal to race for Williams in Formula One

George Russell will race in Formula One next season. Credit: PA

Young Cambridgeshire driver George Russell will race for Williams in Formula One next season, it's been announced.

The 20-year-old has signed a "multi-year contract" with the Oxfordshire-based team.

Russell, who grew up in Tydd St Giles and is a former Wisbech Grammar School student, is the current leader of this year's Formula Two championship.

  • Watch our full interview with George Russell

He will become the third British driver in Formula One next season, where he will line-up alongside Lewis Hamilton and McLaren's Lando Norris.

Williams announced the news on their Youtube channel.

“It is a huge honour to join a team of Williams’ prestige and heritage. Formula One has been a life-long dream," Russell 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.

"I would like to thank Claire (Williams) and everyone at Williams for their faith in making this decision, as well as Toto and the team at Mercedes for their fantastic support throughout GP3 and Formula 2.

"I am incredibly excited to start working with everyone at Grove and to take my first steps as a Formula One race driver. I cannot wait for Melbourne next year and to join Williams at the start of what we all believe will be the start of an exciting new journey.”

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Deputy team principal for Williams, Claire Williams, added:

“I am delighted to announce that George Russell will be joining Williams from the 2019 season. We have always tried to promote and develop young talent at Williams, and George fits that ethos perfectly.

"He is already highly regarded in the paddock and a driver whose career we have been watching for a while. In the time we have spent with him so far, we believe that he will be a great fit for our team; his commitment, passion and dedication is exactly what we need to drive the positive momentum building at Grove as we focus on the future.

"We are extremely excited to welcome George and work with him moving forward.”

Wisbech Grammar School. Credit: ITV News Anglia

In a statement, Russell's former teacher at Wisbech Grammar School added his tributes:

“I remember speaking to George in my office about his future plans and he mentioned his motor racing career," Dr Kevin Mann, Head of Lower School, Wisbech Grammar School, told ITV News Anglia.

"Straightaway I could see that George had the passion and motivation to achieve his ambitions, therefore, it has come as no surprise to learn of his amazing success.

"We are proud of George signing for Williams F1 2019 and he is a great role model for our current pupils to know that if you work hard enough and have the right focus, you can achieve your dreams”.