Norfolk star George Russell in confident mood ahead of Silverstone
PUBLISHED: 21:46 14 July 2017 | UPDATED: 21:46 14 July 2017
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George Russell is heading to his home GP3 race at Silverstone this weekend full of confidence having secured his first victory in the series at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
For many observers, the Norfolk racer, and Mercedes F1 Junior, was the pre-season favourite, which builds pressure to deliver an early victory.
“Monkey off your back,” said a relieved Russell. “I’ve got the first win out of the way, now I need to focus on moving forward and on to my home Grand Prix next.”
Russell set up his maiden victory by claiming pole position for the opening race of two in Austria, just able to edge out his ART team-mate Jack Aitken from top spot.
A good start from Russell kept Aitken in check at the first corner and the rising star of the junior formulae led all the way to the chequered flag.
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing.
“Just after the virtual safety car there was a lot of oil on the circuit,” explained Russell.
“I went into turn three and completely locked all four wheels and went straight on and thought ‘this is my lead over’. I looked behind and saw Jack did the same and almost crashed into me. That was quite scary.”
With the top eight positions from race one reversed to make up the front of the second race grid, it was all about securing as many points as possible, with Russell a solid sixth, which moves him to just a single point behind championship leader, and team-mate, Nirel Fukuzumi.
Poringland racer Josh Files had an eventful opening race in the latest TCR Germany Championship event, held at Oschersleben, having to carry additional weight in his race-winning Honda Civic.
Starting from the seventh row of the grid, Files made quick progress into sixth place by lap two and then became embroiled in a scrap with the Audi of Niels Langeveld, which saw the local racer lose six places after the pair clashed, before recovering to 10th place at the finish.
In race two, Files flew up the field to finish in second place. “Slicks on a wet track, my favourite conditions, and to go from P13 to P2 was a great effort by everyone in the team and I’m very proud of them all for it,” said Files post-race.