George Russell (born 15 February 1998) is a British racing driver, who made his debut for Williams at the start of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship. An accomplished driver in junior formulae and a member of the Mercedes-Benz Junior Team, Russell had previous experience of F1 prior to his debut, having tested for Mercedes and acted as a reserve driver for the Silver Arrows and Williams during 2018.
Russell's career would begin in karting at the age of eight, before progressing through the ranks to become a two-time CIK-FIA European Champion in 2012. A year later Russell came 19th in the KF1 CIK-FIA World Championship, before making a move to Formula Renault 2.0 Alps in 2014.
Single Seater Surge
The 2.0 Alps was not to be Russell's only venture in Formula Renault in 2014, with the Brit also taking part in the Eurocup at select races. Furthermore, the Brit would compete in the BRDC Formula 4 Championship, duly snatching that title at the end of the season. Indeed, despite failing to win in his other categories, Russell's triumph in F4 earned him a GP3 Series test, as well as the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award and a test with McLaren Racing in a Formula One car.
For 2015 Russell gained a seat in the Formula 3 European Championship with Carlin Motorsport, and duly won the opening race of the season. A further series of strong performances would see Russell just miss out on the title to Charles Leclerc, with Russell ultimately sticking with the F3 Championship for 2016. An additional couple of victories saw Russell finish the season in third, before making the move to GP3 in 2017.
On 19 January 2017 Russell signed two contracts, one to join the Mercedes-Benz Junior Team, putting him in a prime position for a future Formula One career, and the other to join ART Grand Prix in GP3. It was a relatively slow start to Russell's GP3 career, with the Brit having to wait until his second race weekend to stand on top of the podium. However, that result would be the start of a huge run of podiums and victories for Russell, with the Brit taking four wins to head into the final round having already secured the title.
For 2018 Russell moved to the FIA Formula 2 Championship, again racing with ART and teammate Jack Aitken. The Brit duly made a strong start to his F2 career, claiming victory in only his fourth F2 start, before launching a bid to become Champion at the first attempt. Indeed, Russell would head to the 2018 season finale in the lead of the Championship, and overwhelming favourite to take the crown against Alexander Albon.
Formula One Career
Russell first came to the attention of the Formula One field in 2017, with Mercedes signing the young Brit up to their Junior Team. That deal resulted in Russell becoming their test/reserve driver for the season, with a run-out at the 2017 Budapest Test for the Silver Arrows, as well as a few FP1 appearances later in the season for Force India. Russell subsequently signed as Williams and Force India's test and reserve driver for the 2018 season, as well as a Mercedes test driver alongside Pascal Wehrlein.
For 2019, however, Mercedes managed to engineer a full race drive for Russell, with the Brit signed up to join Mercedes premium customers Williams for the year. The Brit was set to replace Lance Stroll at the team, and be partnered by Sergey Sirotkin. However the team chose not to retain Sirotkin and instead chose Robert Kubica to be the Brit’s teammate.
George will continue to race for Williams in 2020.
Formula One Statistical Overview
Formula One Record
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.||Report|
|2017–2018||Mercedes Young Driver Programme|
|2017||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||Test Driver|
|Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India-Mercedes||Test Driver|
|2018||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||Test Driver|
|Racing Point Force India F1 Team||Force India-Mercedes||Test Driver|
|Williams Martini Racing||Williams-Mercedes||Test Driver|
|2019||ROKiT Williams Racing||Williams-Mercedes||0||20th||Report|
|Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||Mercedes|
Correct as of the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix qualifying
|Front Row Starts||1|
|Distance Raced||14373 km (8931 mi)|
|Distance Led||209 km (130 mi)|
|Complete Formula One results|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)||DNS||Did not start|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||[+] More Symbols|
Images and Videos:
- Andrew Benson, 'Formula 1: George Russell joins Williams to become third British driver in 2019', bbc.co.uk/sport, (British Broadcasting Company, 12/10/2018), https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/45831954, (Accessed 12/10/2018)
- Mitchell, Scott (22 February 2018). "Wehrlein, Russell to share Mercedes F1 reserve driver role in 2018". Autosport (Motorsport Network). https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/134490/wehrlein-russell-to-share-mercedes-reserve-role. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
- Benson, Andrew (23 February 2018). "Oliver Rowland: Williams name Briton as their young driver for 2018 season". bbc.co.uk/sport (BBC). http://www.bbc.com/sport/formula1/43168585. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
- Scott Mitchell, 'George Russell wins 2014 McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award', autosport.com, (Haymarket Publications, 07/11/2014), https://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/117079, (Accessed 27/06/2018)
- Laurence Edmondson, 'British racing driver George Russell added to Mercedes' junior programme', espn.co.uk, (ESPN Inc., 19/01/2017), http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/18508537/british-racing-driver-george-russell-added-mercedes-junior-programme, (Accessed 27/06/2018)
- 'GEORGE RUSSELL TAKES THE 2017 GP3 SERIES TITLE AT JEREZ', georgerussellracing.com, (George Russell Promotions, 08/10/2017), https://www.georgerussellracing.com/press/george-russell-takes-the-2017-gp3-series-title-at-jerez, (Accessed 27/06/2018)
- Valentin Khorounzhiy, 'Mercedes F1 junior Russell seals F2 promotion with ART', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 18/01/2018), https://www.motorsport.com/fia-f2/news/gp3-champion-russell-seals-f2-promotion-with-art-996926/?s=1, (Accessed 14/06/2018)
- AG, Mercedes-Benz by Daimler, www.mercedesamgf1.com, (Mercedes-Benz A.G., 2017), https://www.mercedesamgf1.com/en/mercedes-amg-f1/george-russell-to-test-w08-in-budapest/, (Accessed 12/10/2018)
- "Mercedes Confirms George Russell for Sakhir GP". www.mercedesamgf1.com. 2 December 2020. https://www.mercedesamgf1.com/en/news/2020/2020-sakhir-grand-prix/2020-sakhir-grand-prix-reserve-driver-announcement/. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
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