Norfolk-born George Russell steps up to FIA Formula 3 European Championship after title success

2014 Autosport Awards. Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. Sunday 7 December 2014. George Russ

2014 Autosport Awards. Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. Sunday 7 December 2014. George Russell wins the 2014 McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award. World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic. ref: Digital Image _14P4031 - Credit: Autosport

Norfolk-born motorsport prodigy George Russell will race with Carlin in the 2015 FIA Formula 3 European Championship, it has been announced.

The 16-year-old, who completed several impressive tests with the team in winter testing late last year, will make the step up to the competitive junior category as BRDC (British Racing Drivers' Club) Formula Four champion.

The 2014 McLaren Autosport BRDC winner – earning him a £100,000 prize – had a busy season this year but made his first year in cars a successful one.

The Wisbech-based racer completed in both the Formula Renault ALPS championship and the BRDC F4 Championship, winning the F4 title in impressive style and also finishing fourth in FR2.0 ALPS.

Russell ended his season with a lights-to-flag victory in Jerez, in Spain, with a wild-card entry in the Renault 2.0 Eurocup round.

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He then topped off his season claiming the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, beating the best of Britain's young racers to a title previously won by the likes of Jenson Button, Anthony Davidson and Oliver Jarvis.

Team owner, Trevor Carlin, said: 'Despite his young age, George is very mature in the car and that's one of the elements that most impressed us about him.

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'His pace from the outset was very promising and there's no doubt that he is ready for F3.

'He's demonstrated great race craft and speed on his way to the BRDC F4 title last year and in the right environment we expect to see him flourish in Formula 3.'

Previous to his single-seater career, Russell had a glittering career in karting as a multiple British and European Champion, winning the CIK FIA European Champion twice by the age of 14.

The youngster, who will turn 17 just before the season commences, follows in some large footsteps. The list of former Carlin F3 drivers includes Daniel Ricciardo, Jean-Eric Vergne and Kevin Magnussen.

Russell added: 'I am very excited to be starting the next chapter of my motor racing career with a team that has such incredible pedigree. My aim is to win races and championships and Carlin have plenty of experience in doing exactly that.

'To join the list of names that have driven for the team is a great honour and I am focused on making 2015 a strong year.'

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