Mercedes sign British driver George Russell: He tested for McLaren
GEORGE RUSSELL has joined Mercedes' young driver programme but he made his debut in a Formula One Car for McLaren.
12:55, Thu, Jan 19, 2017
| UPDATED: 12:56, Thu, Jan 19, 2017
George Russell has been signed by Mercedes after impressing in Formula 3
Russell, 18, will compete for ART Grand Prix in the GP3 series this season, which has previously been won by fellow Mercedes drivers Esteban Ocon and Valtteri Bottas.
However, he actually completed 16 laps of Silverstone in a McLaren F1 car back in 2015.
But now having been snapped up by Mercedes, team boss Toto Wolff hopes Russell can emulate his new team-mates in a tier that is just two levels below F1.
George Russell has impressed in Formulas 3 and 4 to win a seat at Mercedes
“George has shown impressive form in the junior categories and we’ve been keeping a close eye on him for a while now,” said Wolff.
“It’s still early days in his career but we see great potential in him.
“George’s next challenge in GP3 will provide a good test of his credentials for the future.
“We have already seen with Esteban how effective this series can be as a training ground and, of course, this is the championship which propelled Valtteri into F1, so we will follow George’s progress with great interest.”
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Russell is from King's Lynn, Norfolk and already has considerable racing pedigree at home and abroad, having started in karting back in 2006.
He won the BDRC Formula 4 Championship at the age of 16 and has finished sixth and third in the last two seasons of Formula 3.
George Russell will hope to follow in the footsteps of Esteban Ocon and Valtteri Bottas
But now he is desperate to show Mercedes what he can do at the next level.
“It’s great to be part of the junior programme,” said Russell.
“It is an incredibly opportunity to have the backing of the Formula One world champions.
"I’m proud to have been given this kind of recognition for all the hard work that’s gone into my career over the years so far."
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