tag-background-image

driver

George Russell


15

0 PTS


nationality
England
place
Kings Lynn
date
15-02-1998
debut
2019

George Russell

George Russell made the big switch to Mercedes in 2022. However, it did not turn out to be the season he had hoped for, as the German racing team struggled with a problematic car that was only able to win a race towards the end of the season. That one win went to Russell, who will no doubt be looking to repeat that trick in the 2023 Formula 1 season.

F1 Standings

Pos.NameTeamPoints
1BOTValtteri BottasAlfa Romeo F1 team0
2ZHOGuanyu ZhouAlfa Romeo F1 team0
3DEVNyck de VriesScuderia AlphaTauri0
4TSUYuki TsunodaScuderia AlphaTauri0
5GASPierre GaslyAlpine F1 team0
6OCOEsteban OconAlpine F1 team0
7STRLance StrollAston Martin F1 team0
8ALOFernando AlonsoAston Martin F1 team0
9SAICarlos SainzFerrari0
10LECCharles LeclercFerrari0
11HULNico HulkenbergHaas F10
12MAGKevin MagnussenHaas F10
13NORLando NorrisMcLaren0
14PIAOscar PiastriMcLaren0
15RUSGeorge RussellMercedes AMG F1 team0
16HAMLewis HamiltonMercedes AMG F1 team0
17VERMax VerstappenRed Bull Racing0
18PERSergio PerezRed Bull Racing0
19ALBAlexander AlbonWilliams0
20SARLogan SargeantWilliams0

More British success after Lewis Hamilton

Like many other young talents, Russell started his young career in karting. The karts were exchanged in 2014 for a Formula Renault 2.0 car in which the Briton finished fourth in the championship. That season, he also participated in two rounds of the Eurocup of the same class. The last race of the season was won by Russell.

The move to Formula 4 also paid off immediately, with Russell taking the title in his first year (despite strong competition). This title gave the Brit the chance to test in a GP3 car and put him on the map to participate in the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award. Racing against other British drivers, Russell managed to win (from Alexander Albon, among others) and thus got a Formula 1 test with McLaren. The first steps towards the premier class were taken.

Maturing

Instead of tearing through the lower classes like Lance Stroll did, Russell took the time to gain experience. Two seasons in Formula 3, followed by a year in the GP3 class and a year in Formula 2.

Formula 3 earned Russell a third place (with a Mercedes engine in the back of his car) in 2016, with ART Grand Prix the Briton did take the title immediately in the 2017 GP3 season. That same year, Mercedes announced that they had included Russell in their junior programme. The Brit became one of three drivers in the Mercedes academy (alongside Esteban Ocon and Andrea Antonelli).

He matured in lower classes and this proved to be useful in Russell's Formula 2 season. Despite a rough start, the Briton managed to recover to win the title with ART at the expense of fellow F1 rookie Lando Norris. 

On several occasions that season (and the previous one) Russell was allowed to sit in with Mercedes-related teams in Formula 1, doing free practice and tyre tests. Toto Wolff did everything possible to prepare Russell for his debut race in the premier class.

His Formula One debut followed at Williams, where George Russell found the only possible seat as Formula Two champion. Williams sank even further than their dramatic 2018 season. All Russell could do was beat his teammate and he did. With 21-0, the qualifying duel was decided in Russell's favour, but the question is whether this was Russell's skill, or Robert Kubica's poor form?

Substituting for Mercedes

In 2020, George Russell faced Nicholas Latifi, the runner-up in Formula 2. In the first year, he beat him in qualifying and the race by a wide margin. 2020 was another strong year for George Russell at Williams. A crash in Imola ruined his best chance for points as he parked his car in the wall from P10 behind the safety car.

In Bahrain, however, a miracle happened. A positive COVID-19 test from Lewis Hamilton allowed Russell to step into the car of the seven times world champion. The chance for the young Brit to put himself on the map as F2 champion. 

Strategic errors by Mercedes, however, ruined any chance of victory, but a ninth place finish and fastest lap gave Russell his first points in Formula 1. In Abu Dhabi he had to return, disappointingly, to Williams because Hamilton had recovered.

Russell switches to Mercedes after 2021

In 2021 Russell managed to score a few points on behalf of Williams, with a second place in the rained-off Belgian Grand Prix as a highlight. The Williams car was not capable of much more, as the British team set their sights early on 2022.

In the summer of the 2021 season, Mercedes finally tied the knot: Valtteri Bottas left to make way for Russell in 2022, who after three years with Williams finally made the big switch that had been in the air since his fill-in for Hamilton in the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix.

George Russell in 2023

As Hamilton's teammate, the performance pressure was higher than ever for Russell, but the Mercedes debutant showed little sign of that. He quickly found his feet in the 2022 car, despite the many problems the W13 faced. Russell seemed to cope with that better than his teammate and he consequently finished ahead of Hamilton in the championship, with his first win behind his name. That win will have left him wanting more and the 2023 F1 season promises to be an exciting battle between the Mercedes drivers.