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George Russell

DRIVER PAGE
14/03/2020

PORTRAIT

STATISTICS (PRIOR TO 2020)

Seasons in Formula 1:
Races contested:
Total number of championships:
Total number of wins:
Total number of pole positions:
Total number of fastest laps:
Total number of points:
2019 - number of wins:
2019 - number of poles:
2019 - number of fastest laps:
2019 - points:
2019 - championship position:

1
21
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
20

DETAILS

George Russell

DOB:
Age:
Height:
Weight:
Status:
Born:
Lives:

15/02/1998
22
1.85m
66kg
Single
Kings Lynn, England
Oxford, England

Official website:
www.georgerussellracing.com/

BIOGRAPHY

George began karting in 2006 aged 8, and within three years was MSA British champion and British Open champion in the Cadet Class.

He moved up to Rotax Mini Max in 2010, winning the Super One British and Formula Kart Stars British championships at the first attempt along with the Kartmasters British Grand Prix

Moving up to KF3 in 2011, he won the SKUSA Supernationals title as well as becoming CIK-FIA European Champion, a title he successfully defended in 2012.

In 2013, his final year of karting in 2013, George finished 19th in the KF1 CIK-FIA World Championship in addition to winning the WSK Euro Series in La Conca.

2014 saw him make his single-seater debut, contesting the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps championship. Though originally signed to Prema Powerteam, he made a last minutes switch to Koiranen GP, and despite missing one round due to illness finished fourth in the championship.

Along with the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps championship, George contested the BRDC Formula 4 Championship with Lanan Racing. Starting from pole, George won the final race of the season at Snetterton - his fifth win of the season - thus claiming the title at the first attempt

2014 also saw George contest two rounds of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship, contesting the Moscow event with Koiranen GP and the Jerez round with Tech 1 Racing. Albeit racing as a guest entrant, he won the final race of the season after starting from pole.

As part of his prize for winning the BRDC Formula 4 championship, George tested a GP3 car with Arden Motorsport in Abu Dhabi. Weeks later he became the youngest-ever winner of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, earning himself a 100,000 cash prize and an F1 test with McLaren.

In February 2015, George was announced as one of the drivers selected to join the British Racing Drivers' Club SuperStars programme, the youngest-ever recruit to the scheme.

2015 and 2016 saw him contesting the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, finishing 6th at the first attempt and third at the second. While he raced for Carlin in 2015 he switched to Hitech for 2016.

Interestingly, in both seasons, George won the opening race of the championship, at Silverstone and Paul Ricard respectively.

In January 2017, in addition to joining Mercedes junior driver programme, George signed to ART Grand Prix for the forthcoming GP3 season.

With four wins, three poles and five further podiums, George wrapped up the title in Jerez with one round of the championship still remaining.

In August, he made his F1 debut, driving the Mercedes on both days of the post-Hungary GP test at the Hungaroring.

Meanwhile, his GP3 success saw him rewarded with FP1 outings in both Brazil and Abu Dhabi with Force India.

At the launch of Mercedes 2018 contender, the German team announced that George would share reserve driver duties with Pascal Wehrlein, in addition to contesting the F2 championship with Art Grand Prix.

In F2, George amassed more victories than any other driver, as well as the most pole positions, laps led and even the total amount of podiums, despite numerous reliability issues.

Claiming the championship, ahead of fellow-Briton Lando Norris, at the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi, he sealed it in style with his seventh win of the year.

At a time Mercedes was looking desperately for a seat in which it could place Esteban Ocon, in mid-October a deal was agreed with Williams that would see George form part of an all-new line-up for 2019 with Robert Kubica. Ironically, the Briton subsequently made his FP1 debut, with Racing Point, driving the VJM11 in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

Like countryman Norris, George would be making his F1 race debut with a once great team currently going through very difficult times. However, he was aware that no matter how bad the FW42 might be, he had the mighty Mercedes behind him looking out for his best interests in 2020 and beyond.

2019 was always going to be a watershed year for Williams, which could either learn from the disaster of 2018 and climb straight back upon the horse, or continue to lose its way and possibly face the fate of numerous other championship winning teams that believed they were immune to the realities of failure.

However, anyone hoping that 2018 was a mere blip in the team's fortunes was in for a major shock in 2019, for in 2019, Williams, the most successful of British constructors in terms of team titles, not only finished bottom of the pile again, it scored just one solitary point from 21 outings.

It was clear that there was a problem when the Grove outfit didn't reveal a date for its initial shakedown, those initial fears intensifying when the team missed the first two days of pre-season testing.

Though, courtesy of a Herculean effort by the crew, the car rolled out halfway through the third day of the test, ignoring its woeful pace, the big story going round the paddock was who was to blame. Days later it was announced that Paddy Lowe was on leave of absence, the former Mercedes technical boss finally cutting ties with the team in the summer.

Meanwhile, George and his teammate had to continue with a car that was a dud, exactly how much of a dud only becoming clear in Melbourne.

From the outset, both drivers complained of a serious lack of grip, the Briton subsequently admitting that the FW42 had a "fundamental" issue that would take months to resolve.

And thus began a season of absolute torture for all concerned, neither driver making it to Q2 over the course of the whole season, far less Q3. At season end, George's average qualifying position was 18.43, while his teammate's was 19.67.

And it wasn't as if things got any better on Sunday, for the pair were regularly two or three laps down on the winner.

Once the team began to introduce updates, none of which appeared to have any significant effect, this unfortunately kick-started behind the scenes shenanigans as Kubica complained that George was being given preference. Later in the year, moments after the Briton went off into the barriers after a wheel nut retainer failed in Sochi, the team called in Kubica to retire him. This prompted sponsor PKN Orlen to issue a statement citing a contractual breach, with Williams subsequently admitting that it retired the Pole due to "accident damage"... and also to save parts for future races.

On and on and on it went, the Grove legend a shadow of its former self, now almost an embarrassment to behold.

Fans of a certain vintage will remember Fernando Alonso's debut season with Minardi in 2001, when, despite the limitations of the equipment beneath him, the Spaniard regularly showed his true talent. Unfortunately, though it was clear that in George F1 had another rising star, the FW42 appeared determined to thwart him at every turn (literally).

Consequently, the only real yardstick of the youngster's talent on offer was his teammate, whose return to the F1 grid was not quite the fairy-tale we had hoped for.

Nonetheless, George out-qualified Kubica at every race - the only driver to do so - and usually finished ahead of the Pole on Sunday.

That said, the team's sole point came courtesy of Kubica, who was promoted to tenth after both Alfa Romeo drivers were handed time penalties for receiving outside aid before the start of the German Grand Prix.

The highlight of George's season had to be Hungary where he narrowly missed out on Q2 for the first time.

Retained for 2020, when he will be joined by Nicholas Latifi, George must hope that, if nothing else, Williams can provide a car that at least allows him to hone his skills.

Coming off the back of two dire seasons it is perhaps wishful thinking to imagine that the Grove outfit might be battling in the midfield, far less for points, however, George must use every opportunity to convince Mercedes and Toto Wolff that he is as gifted as we believe him to be.

Despite the achievements of Norris and Albon in their debut season, all things considered, George was our rookie of the year.

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