It was arguably the biggest Formula One announcement this season - as Lewis Hamilton has learnt the fate of his new Mercedes teammate.
George Russell has impressed on all accounts in a Williams car this year, earning a few Top 10 finishes with many believing he's better than the specs he's driving.
That may have proven at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, when Russell was used as a stand-in replacement for the coronavirus positive Hamilton in a Mercedes car.
Having led for most of the race, he eventually had to go into a pit stop due to his team giving him the wrong tyres. Sergio Pérez eventually won that day.
A young George Russell follows Lewis Hamilton round the paddock holding two of his books for him to sign.
Next season, they'll be team mates at Mercedes 🙌 pic.twitter.com/x0CV57Kb6t
— Sport Social (@TheSportSocial) September 14, 2021
Speaking on Channel 4's F1, former driver David Coulthard reckons the pair won't take long to build up a budding rivalry of sorts.
"It will absolutely," Coulthard said about a the potential to 'kick off' between Hamilton and Russell. "It will be the making of George up against the driver of a couple of generations."
Hamilton endured plenty of conflict in his start with Mercedes thanks to a tumultuous relationship with Nico Rosberg. Valtteri Bottas has lightened the mood somewhat.
Coulthard reckons Russell will have an unprecedent experience with his new team. "He hasn't been pushed by any of his team-mates. It will be very different with Lewis."
"In the beginning, he will just be young and full of energy, he will be fresh and then he will get worn down by the relentlessness of Lewis, and that’s the point at which he will grow as a man."
It’s official. Next year, I’ll be a Mercedes F1 driver. This is a special day for me and I want to say a huge thank you to @WilliamsRacing, @MercedesAMGF1 and everyone who has supported me in getting to where I am today. I couldn’t have done it without every single one of you. 💙 pic.twitter.com/MmGA1vr9mR
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) September 7, 2021
The former thirteen time Grand Prix winner is hopeful for Russell's chances even if the first few seasons will be a learning process.
"This is where George Russell becomes the making of a future world champion," Coulthard added.
Meanwhile, Mercedes boss Totto Wolff will be trying his best not to create more friction between his drivers.
"I think George will learn an awful lot from Lewis because he is the best driver that has ever been there," Wolff said. "So in my opinion, we just need to give him time."
"But it will need time. I want to keep the right dynamic and momentum in the team and it’s going to be just good," he added.
Formula One action continues this weekend, as the drivers bring their talents to Sochi for the Russian Grand Prix.