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George Russell secures Formula Two victory in Spain – and gets a point on his licence!

PUBLISHED: 10:39 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:39 16 May 2018

ART Grand Prix racer George Russell celebrating victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Picture: Joe Portlock/FIA F2 Media

ART Grand Prix racer George Russell celebrating victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Picture: Joe Portlock/FIA F2 Media

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George Russell secured a thrilling feature FIA Formula Two Championship race win, supporting the Spanish Grand Prix, but had to face the Stewards of the Meeting for throwing a drinking bottle from his car.

George Russell on the top step of the feature FIA Formula Two Championship podium with second-placed Nyck de Vries on his right and series leader Lando Norris in third. Picture: Joe Portlock/FIA F2 MediaGeorge Russell on the top step of the feature FIA Formula Two Championship podium with second-placed Nyck de Vries on his right and series leader Lando Norris in third. Picture: Joe Portlock/FIA F2 Media

The race featured four virtual safety car periods as well as starting in light rain, ensuring nothing would be straight-forward for Norfolk racer Russell, who started from fourth on the grid.

Fast-starting Nyck de Vries was the early leader with Russell, in his wheel tracks, snatching the lead at the first corner of lap six and remaining there, despite de Vries’ valiant attempts to unseat the Mercedes F1 Reserve driver.

“It was action-packed,” said Russell in the post-race press conference. “After the final VSC, Nyck and I were pushing, maximum attack, and that was great fun to push these cars to the limit. There was huge pressure, especially out of the DRS (Drag Reduction System) zone, because with the headwind the DRS had a huge effect. All in all, it was a great race.”

Russell started race two from eighth, for winning Saturday’s event, and despite some early troubles in getting his tyres to work he was able to put in some stunning fast laps in the closing stages to finish fourth and posting the fastest race lap.

Downham Market'’s Oliver Clarke in action at the Road Atlanta Circuit in the USA F4 Championship, taking a best position of 16th. Picture: Formula 4 United States Championship.Downham Market'’s Oliver Clarke in action at the Road Atlanta Circuit in the USA F4 Championship, taking a best position of 16th. Picture: Formula 4 United States Championship.

The results in Spain have galvanised the local racers’ championship challenge, with the Norfolk racer rising to third in the series just five points from second, but 18 away from series leader Lando Norris.

However, Russell was sanctioned by the race officials for discarding his water bottle, which had come loose, during a VSC period, during the early part of race one.

He said: “I thought it was a good and safe opportunity to get rid of it, but consequently we’ve been given a €3,000 fine and a penalty point on my licence.”

Wet Norfolk karting star Oliver Clarke has found the transition to single seater racing “a steep learning curve” having contested the opening two round of the USA Formula 4 Championship.

“The most important thing is to keep positive about progress, improving my lap times and learning what the limits of the car are as it is very different to karting,” said the 15-year-old who was delighted to finish his last race in 16th place.


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