George Russell one step closer to fulfilling his Formula One dream
- Credit: Archant
After a hugely successful 2017, when Norfolk born George Russell dominated the GP3 race series and got to drive in the opening sessions at the final two Grand Prix for Force India, the Wisbech driver will contest the Formula Two championship this coming season.
Russell is also a little closer to realising his long held ambition, of being a full time Grand Prix racer, having recently been confirmed as one of the reserve drivers for the title winning Mercedes AMG Formula One team for the season ahead.
'One step closer,' remarked Russell on his appointment. He will be sharing the duties with Pascal Wehrlein, who will miss some events which clash with the Germany based DTM series which he is contesting.
Toto Wolff, the Mercedes AMG F1 team principal, said: 'We will see how George is going to go in F2. He does a brilliant job for us in the simulator and has met our expectations in winning the GP3 title. Force India is very impressed by him.'
Russell will be continuing his relationship with ART Grand Prix, the team he drove for last year, in the new Formula Two car being introduced this season which features bodywork similar to the latest F1 cars, while being powered by a 3.4 litre turbocharged V6 engine with over 630bhp on tap.
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'I am extremely pleased to be moving up into the FIA Formula Two Championship and continuing to race for ART Grand Prix,' said Russell.
'We had an extremely successful season together last year, so it made complete sense to continue working, and looking, for even more success together.
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'With the introduction of the new FIA Formula Two car, it is going to make it very difficult for all of the teams to optimise the setup early, but I have all the confidence that here at ART, we can hit the ground running.
'I am really looking forward to the first race, competing against the best teams and drivers in the pinnacle of junior motorsport.'
Russell's optimism was rewarded when he topped the time sheets on the final day at the first series test session, held at Circuit Paul Ricard in France last week.
The new Formula Two car will be fitted with the same mandatory 'Halo' safety device as fitted to all Grand Prix cars while Russell will have the chance to experience the mandatory pit stops during a race, which replicate similar scenarios used in Formula One races.