GEORGE RUSSELL will replace Lewis Hamilton for this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix.
The 22-year-old will sit in for the reigning world champion who has tested positive for Covid-19 and been forced to self isolate.
Lewis Hamilton has been replaced by George Russell for the Sakhir Grand PrixCredit: Reuters
Hamilton has been placed in quarantine for ten days in Bahrain and is facing a logistical nightmare to compete in the season finale in Abu Dhabi the following weekend.
Meanwhile, fellow Brit Russell has been handed a golden opportunity to impress after Mercedes recalled him from his loan deal at Williams.
Russell said: “Firstly, I want to say a huge thank you to everybody at Williams for giving me this opportunity.
“I might be wearing a different race suit this weekend, but I’m a Williams driver and I’ll be cheering my team on every step of the way.
“I see this as a great chance to learn from the best outfit on the grid right now and to come back as an improved driver, with even more energy and experience to help push Williams further up the grid.
“A big thank you also to Mercedes for putting their faith in me. Obviously, nobody can replace Lewis, but I’ll give my all for the team in his absence from the moment I step in the car.
“Most importantly, I wish him a speedy recovery. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity and can’t wait to get out on track this week.”
Russell will be replaced by another British driver at Williams as Jack Aitken has been called up from his role as reserve driver.
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Aitken added: “I’m absolutely over the moon to have the opportunity to make my debut with Williams this coming weekend and I am extremely happy for George to have his chance too.
“I really mean it when I say I’ve felt very much at home here since I joined Williams earlier this year, so to get my chance to help the team try to achieve that elusive points finish is an extremely satisfying occasion to say the least.
“I’ll be doing all I can to prepare in the coming days, but truthfully, I feel like I have been ready since Melbourne.
“I also want to wish Lewis well in his recovery, and good luck to George getting the chance to drive the Mercedes this weekend.”