#63 George Russell

Nationality British
Date of birth 15 February, 1998
Place of birth Kings Lynn, Norfolk, Great Britain
Age 23
Height 185 cm
Weight 70 kg
F1 career 2019 –
Best classification 18 (2020)
Races started 38
Best race classification 9 (x1)
Podium places 0
Pole positions 0
Front row 1
Fastest laps 1
Points 3
Races led 1
Official website https://www.georgerussellracing.com/

Biography

At the age of 14, George Russell won his first karting title in 2012, winning the CIK-FIA Euro KF3 with three wins and 75 points championship and two years later he won the British Formula 4 championship with five wins and 11 podiums in 24 races.

In the same year, Russell as the new hope of British motorsport wins the prestigious McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award and in 2015 he finishes sixth in the European F3 Championship with Carlin.

Russell continued to drive in the same championship in 2016, but for Hitech GP team. He finished third with three wins and 10 podiums in 30 races. Next year he will move to the GP3 series, where he will become the champion with three wins and seven podiums in his debut season and in the same year he became a member of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Young Driver Programme.

In 2017, Russell tested the F2 car, but more importantly, he also tested the F1 cars Force of India and Mercedes. With Mercedes he had two test days at Hungaroring (a total of 916 km) and for Force India he performed on the first two free practice sessions in Abu Dhabi and Brazil.

All this was more than enough for Russell to secure F2 seat in 2018 in the ART Grand Prix team, and although Lando Norris had better start, Russell had overtaken him during the year and won the title with seven wins, 11 podiums, five pole positions and five fastest laps.

Russell Mercedes W08 Hungarian F1 2017 test Photo Daimler
George Russell, Mercedes W08, Hungarian F1 2017 test (Photo: Daimler)

In 2018, Russell continued to test F1 cars of Mercedes and their customers Williams and Force India with a total of five test days and 1834 kilometers behind the wheel.

Russell’s speed, maturity, consistency, ability to learn and progress convinced Williams to sign him for the 2019 F1 season before confirming Robert Kubica and the young Briton was present on numerous F1 races in the 2018 season in which he learned from the world champion team and of multiple world champion Lewis Hamilton whose work habits and communication he followed closely.

For all these reasons, Russell is one of the most exciting debutants that Formula 1 has seen lately, but his job is hampered by the fact that he will drive for Williams, who finished the last in the constructors’ championship in 2018.

But Charles Leclerc began his debut season in the uncompetitive Sauber but still managed to showcase all his talent and secure a place in Ferrari for F1 2019. But first, and very important task for Russell will be beating Kubica who worked incredibly hard to get back to Formula 1 racing seat for the first time since 2010.

2019 German GP Russell leads Kubica Photo Williams
2019 German GP Russell leads Kubica (Photo: Williams)

Russell outclassed Kubica in the qualifying 21-0 and 17-3 in the races (one race they both retired) and he delighted with his dedication and willingness to learn.

But the only Williams point in 2019 was won by Robert Kubica at the German GP in changing weather conditions in which Kubica and Russell were classified as 11th and 12th after penalties for both Alfa Romeo drivers.

The Williams FW43 was the slowest car in 2019, but Russell only started from the last row eight times in 21 races.

Russell had the peak of the season in qualifying speed in Hungary (he started 15th), Belgium (14th) and Italy (14th), and his best placements are 11th place from Germany and 12th place from Brazil.

2019 Brazilian GP Kubica leads Russell Photo Williams
2019 Brazilian GP Kubica leads Russell (Photo: Williams)

Russell got a new teammate, Nicholas Latifi, in 2020, and the car was somewhat more competitive, thanks in part to a drop in Ferrari engine power that slowed down their closest rivals Haas and Alfa Romeo.

Williams was still the slowest car, but he narrowed the gap behind Haas and Alfa and Russell often struggled to make it to Q2, unlike Latifi who made just one Q2 finish in Hungary where he started 15th.

Russell was on average more than half a second faster than Latifi and eight times started in the top 15 in 16 races (not counting the Sakhir GP when he was driving for Mercedes). His best Williams qualifying result was in the second race in Austria when he set 12th fastest time in the wet.

The best race result of the season for Williams Russell achieved in a chaotic race for the Grand Prix of Tuscany, which had several interruptions – he finished in 11th place, 2.4 seconds behind Vettel in Ferrari.

2020 Tuscany GP Russell leads Raikkonen Vettel Grosjean Photo Williams
2020 Tuscany GP Russell leads Raikkonen Vettel Grosjean (Photo: Williams)

The highlight of Russell’s season is certainly the unplanned Mercedes call ahead of the Sakhir GP to replace Hamilton who contracted the coronavirus, and Russell took full advantage of the opportunity to show his skills.

Although Hamilton’s Mercedes was too small for him (Russell is 11 cm taller than Hamilton), he managed to qualify for second place, just 0.026 seconds behind the fastest Bottas, while he delighted in the race by taking the lead at the start and safely controlling the race.

Unfortunately for Russell, Mercedes made a mistake when changing the tyres, so both drivers lost a lot of time, and although he overtook Bottas after losing the lead, Russell later had a puncture so he had to pit again. He eventually finished ninth and scored the first three points in his F1 career, two for ninth place and one for the fastest lap, first in his F1 career.

He finished the season in 18th place with three points, which is his best placement in Formula 1, while Williams will keep the same driver lineup in 2021 as in 2020.

2020 Sakhir GP Russell leads Bottas Sainz Ricciardo Photo Daimler
2020 Sakhir GP Russell leads Bottas Sainz Ricciardo (Photo: Daimler)