Motorsport prospect George Russell puts his faith in Hitech GP
06:30 17 March 2016
(c) FIA F3 / Suer
George Russell has put his faith in a new team for 2016, Hitech GP, as he aims to challenge for the FIA European Formula Three Championship and put himself a step nearer to a potential Grand Prix career.
The west Norfolk racer has joined forces with Hitech GP and its owner Oliver Oakes from east Norfolk, who was a former world karting champion before racing on the bigger tracks in a variety of junior formula.
“After testing with Hitech it was obvious to me how professional they were and how motivated they are to win,” said Russell, the 2014 McLaren BRDC Autosport Young Driver of the Year, about his new team.
“The team showed in Hockenheim that it can be immediately competitive and I am really looking forward to the season.”
Team owner Oakes added: “I am happy George has placed his faith in us, his results over the last few years have underlined his talent.
“He had a good rookie season in Formula Three and showed in his recent DTM (German Touring Car) testing duties he is a talent for the future. We know for a new team to come into a championship as competitive as the FIA Formula Three European Championship a challenge at the front will not be easy.”
The new incarnation of Hitech GP is very much a fresh entity but it does retain links with its predecessor via team manager David Hayle, who founded the original Hitech back in 2002.
Oakes has focused on strengthening the outfit’s engineering base, crucial to success in a formula where every driver competes in similar Dallara chassis, with a technical alliance with AOTech, a joint venture between French motorsport powerhouses ART Grand Prix and OAK Racing.
With such a strong package Russell’s choice of team for his second, and crucial, year in the FIA F3 series makes a lot of sense.
“Since George sat in our car post-Hockenheim I have made no secret of the fact we would love to have him with us,” confirmed Hayle.
“In the testing to date he has impressed us with his maturity and professionalism.”
Race winner Russell proved that he was able to mix it with the leading runners on most occasions last year and while many, especially early season, lost their heads resulting in a host of spectacular crashes.
Meanwhile Russell, who was crowned ‘Rookie’ vice-champion at the conclusion of the 2015 season, was denied a perfect finishing record at the final race when he was crashed into by an out of control rival.
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