Russell unveils Barnicoat as simulator driver at Mercedes

15-01-2022 18:25 | Updated: 15-01-2022 19:47
Russell unveils Barnicoat as simulator driver at Mercedes

The name of Ben Barnicoat will not ring a bell with many people. However, he was George Russell's biggest rival in his karting days, as he explained in the podcast ' My Big Break' by Motorsport Magazine. Russell revealed that he ran into Barnicoat again because of his switch to Mercedes.

From a young age, Russell competed against Barnicoat in karting. "He was my rival from the very first championship I was racing. There was always a rivalry, we had quite a few incidents along the way," said the Brit. After seasons of fighting each other, the two talents both ended up driving for Hitech GP in Formula 3 in 2016.

Russell and Barnicoat

From that moment on, the rivalry turned into friendship, Russell stated. Where Russell managed to finish third in the final standings that year, Barnicoat was stuck in ninth place. Russell earned a spot with ART Grand Prix in the GP3, while Barnicoat disappeared from the big stage and sought refuge in enduro racing and the GT series.

Russell seemed destined for the top and, after three seasons at Williams, will be driving for Mercedes in 2022. Remarkably, he meets Barnicoat there. "He's actually been doing a lot of simulation work for Mercedes. I'm not even sure if I'm allowed to say that but I'm sure it's fine. He's a really great guy and a great driver."

Working together at Mercedes

Where the men used to compete against each other, they will now have to work together in the fight for the world title. Although Mercedes won the Constructors' Championship for the eighth time in a row last year, 2022 will be more difficult than ever before. This is because new regulations will come into force in Formula 1 and it is of great importance to compete at the front straight away.

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