George Russell has spoken out following the news that Lewis Hamilton will return for Mercedes at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend, declaring that he is “glad” his fellow Brit is back to full health and that he is “buzzing” to return to Williams.
The 22-year-old replaced Hamilton while he was absent with COVID-19 at the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain last weekend.
But despite Russell donning Mercedes gear in the drivers’ press conference on Thursday, the Silver Arrows later confirmed that Hamilton would be returning.
A team statement read: “The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team is pleased to confirm that Lewis Hamilton will drive for the team in this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“Lewis tested negative for COVID-19 on Wednesday prior to completion of his self-isolation period in Bahrain. This enabled him to travel to Abu Dhabi on Thursday afternoon, and he tested negative on arrival.
“Lewis has therefore completed the protocols required by the FIA for his entry to the paddock tomorrow [Friday] and will be able to take part in the race weekend.
“George Russell will return to Williams Racing for the final event of the 2020 season.”
And while it means Russell will not be fighting at the front of the pack at Sunday’s Abu Dhabi race, the final event of the 2020 Formula One season, he is pleased that Hamilton is well again.
Posting twice on Twitter, Russell posted a picture of himself in his Williams racing suit and said: “Back home @WilliamsRacing, checking it still fits! Did I miss much?”
He added in a follow-up post: “Seriously though, glad to see @LewisHamilton back and fighting fit. Had a blast with @MercedesAMGF1 but now I’m buzzing to put everything I’ve learned into action with my team @WilliamsRacing. Gonna give it everything this weekend – just as they do for me week in, week out.”
Earlier in the day, asked by reporters what he hopes to take back to Williams after driving for Mercedes, Russell said: “There is a lot. Obviously there’s not too much I want to give to the media because then I’m giving that away to the rest of the grid.
“The guys at Mercedes work to such a high level in every single detail and they leave no stone unturned. It pays dividends.
“This is why they are the best and why they’re dominating. There’s a number of things I can go back to Williams with, being a better driver, having more confidence and a few things that will help push the team forward.”
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