In Brief

F1: Mick Schumacher joins Nikita Mazepin in all-new driver line-up at Haas

And Mercedes confirm George Russell will replace Lewis Hamilton at this weekend’s Sakhir GP

Mick Schumacher admits he was “simply speechless” after getting the chance to fulfil his dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver. 

German Schumacher is currently top of the drivers’ standings in Formula 2 with a 14-point lead after 11 rounds. Russian racer Mazepin sits third in the F2 table. 

The 22-year-old Schumacher, who was appointed to the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2019, said: “The prospect of being on the Formula 1 grid next year makes me incredibly happy and I’m simply speechless.

“I would like to thank Haas F1 Team, Scuderia Ferrari and the Ferrari Driver Academy for placing their trust in me. I also want to acknowledge and extend my love to my parents - I know that I owe them everything. I have always believed that I would realise my dream of Formula 1. 

“A huge thank you must also go to all the great motorsport fans out there who have supported me throughout my career. I will give it my all, as I always do, and I look forward to going on this journey together with Haas F1 and them.”

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner added: “I firmly believe he’s earned the opportunity to graduate into Formula 1 based on his performances. We have an opportunity ahead of us, as a team, to evaluate and nurture a new driver given our familiarity with our race package heading into 2021. 

Williams F1 driver George Russell

Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Russell to drive for Mercedes at Sakhir GP

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will miss this weekend’s F1 Sakhir Grand Prix after the Mercedes driver tested positive for Covid-19. 

With Hamilton absent, Mercedes have announced that George Russell will drive for the team in Bahrain after being released from Williams. Russell becomes just the fifth driver to race for Mercedes since 2010, and the third Briton to represent Mercedes-Benz in F1 after Sir Stirling Moss and Hamilton. 

Russell, a member of the Mercedes-Benz Junior Programme since 2017, said: “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.”

Williams Racing have confirmed that Jack Aitken will replace Russell and race alongside Nicholas Latifi at the Sakhir GP.

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