MOTORING NEWS - Deputy team principal Claire Williams announced that 20-year-old Englishman George Russell has signed for the Williams team in 2019. He will be on the grid in Melbourne for his F1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix.
Russell arrives at Williams with an impressive resume, having won the 2014 Formula 4 Championship in his first year and also becoming the McLaren Autosport Award winner. Moving to the European Formula 3 Championship for two years, he went on to win the 2017 championship in his rookie year.
This year he joined the FIA Formula 2 championship, which he currently leads.
Added to all this, him being a test and reserve driver for Mercedes makes it easy to understand the team's excitement at signing up this young talent.
The number of seats left for the coming season has narrowed with this appointment - there are only three teams yet to announce their full driver line-ups.
McLaren has confirmed rookies Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris will complete their lineup for 2019, replacing Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne, who is moving to Formula E.
Williams now has one seat left to be occu-pied, depending on cur-rent team driver Lance Stroll's predicted move to Force India.
The candidates are present team member Sergey Sirotkin, reserve driver Robert Kubica, Artem Markelov, current test driver for Renault, or Esteban Ocon, the driver most likely to be dropped from the Force India line-up.
Ocon is a favourite with those who believe he would be a driver who could assist in developing the new generation Williams team.
The Honda-powered Toro Rosso Equipe still has a vacant seat available, after the return to F1 of Russian Daniil Kvyat.
The FIA has confirmed the 2019 F1 season will consist of 21 races.
The F1 calender is:
- 17 March: Australia
- 31 March: Bahrain
- 14 April: China
- 28 April: Azerbaijan
- 12 May: Spain
- 26 May: Monaco
- 9 June: Canada
- 23 June: France
- 30 June: Austria
- 14 July: Great Britain
- 28 July: Germany
- 4 August: Hungary
- 1 September: Belgium
- 8 September: Italy
- 22 September: Singapore
- 29 September: Russia
- 13 October: Japan
- 27 October: Mexico
- 3 November: US
- 17 November: Brazil
- 1 Dec: Abu Dhabi
'We bring you the latest Garden Route, Hessequa, Karoo news'