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Russell to make FP1 debut in Brazil

NEWS STORY
07/11/2017

No sooner had team boss Vijay Mallya said that his team was ready to try something new, having made sure of fourth in the standings in Mexico, than his team revealed that it is to give British youngster George Russell his FP1 debut in Brazil this weekend.

The 19-year-old, who was recently crowned GP3 champion, will also drive the opening practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend later this month.

Russell, who made his F1 debut in the mid-season test with Mercedes for whom he drove both days of the test, will make his debut in the VJM10 normally driven by Sergio Perez on Friday morning. In Abu Dhabi he will drive the VJM10 of Esteban Ocon.

"I'm extremely excited to be driving in free practice for Sahara Force India in Brazil and Abu Dhabi," said Russell. "2017 has already been a year full of great opportunities and to top off the season with these two outings feels fantastic. I've never driven the VJM10 before or driven at Interlagos, but I'm really looking forward to the challenge. I would like to say a big 'thank you' to Sahara Force India for this opportunity and also thank Mercedes for their continued support."

"We are happy to give George this opportunity," added Vijay Mallya. "He's an up-and-coming talent and we've followed his success in GP3 closely. George has already been in our simulator several times and has worked well with the team. Now that we have secured fourth place in the championship, it's the ideal time to look to the future and handing George his free practice debut will allow us to evaluate his potential."

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