Mercedes will hope they have their next Lewis Hamilton and George Russell on their hands

Mercedes will hold high hopes they have the latest breakthrough talent on their ever-moving conveyor belt in Frederik Vesti. The 20-year-old will graduate into Formula 2 for the 2022 season, representing Lewis Hamilton and George Russell’s former team, ART Grand Prix.

Vesti has driven in Formula 3 in both the last two seasons, finishing fourth in the drivers’ standings in both.

The Dane secured three P1 finishes with Prema Racing in 2020 before winning one race for ART last season, recording nine podium finishes in total over two years in F3.

But he now follows in Hamilton and Russell’s – Mercedes’ Formula One line-up in 2022 – footsteps as he prepares to represent ART in F2.

Before his joint-record seven F1 world titles, Hamilton won the 2006 F2 title, whilst Russell, joining the Silver Arrows from Williams this year, was champion in 2018. They both did so with ART.

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After completing his move to F2, Vesti expressed his delight with the opportunity and looked ahead to continuing his development.

He said: “To sign my FIA Formula 2 contract with ART Grand Prix is a big thing for me. We worked incredibly hard in F3 last season, and to continue the progress into Formula 2 together is important for my next step.

“Now, it is crucial to understand all the small details of Formula 2 to achieve the maximum in 2022. Testing in Abu Dhabi went really well, and I learned a lot of new things.

“I can’t wait to be in the car for the first test in Bahrain! I want to thank ART Grand Prix for this great opportunity and for believing in me.”

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Mercedes signed Vesti to their junior programme at the start of 2021 after his impressive debut campaign in F2.

And team principal Toto Wolff will obviously hope the prospect can match Hamilton and Russell’s success in F2 this season.

Mercedes have promoted three of their junior drivers to F1 since 2016, with Russell the latest success story.

After Valterri Bottas’ move to Alfa Romeo, the 23-year-old will partner Hamilton as Wolff’s team pursue a ninth consecutive Constructors’ Championship.

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