George RussellMercedes AMG F1
After three seasons with the Williams Formula 1 team, George Russell made the step up to race for Mercedes in 2022 alongside Lewis Hamilton. The Briton will remain with the Silver Arrows for the 2023, 2024 and 2025 campaign.
F1 season 2024
|George William Russell
|Date of Birth
|February 15, 1998
|Place of Birth
|King's Lynn, Norfolk, England
Biography of F1 driver George Russell
George Russell, born in the city of King's Lynn in Norfolk, started karting at the age of eight and advanced to the cadet class in 2009, where he would later become MSA British champion and British Open champion.
In 2010, he added the Super One British Championship to his list of honors, as well as the Formula Kart Starts British series. For a year, he competed in the KF3 class, securing the SKUSA Supernationals title and the CIK-FIA European championship in both 2011 and 2012. In his final year of karting, he finished nineteenth in the KF1 CIK FIA World Championship.
In 2014, he made his debut in single-seaters, participating in the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps Championship. He raced for the Koiranen GP team, finishing fourth in the standings and scoring one podium at the Red Bull Ring. He then competed in two rounds of the Eurocup Formula 4 Championship, winning the final round in Jerez as a guest participant.
Later that year, Russell joined the BRDC Formula 4 Championship with defending champion Lanan Racing. He won the series by just three points over teammate Arjun Maini, securing pole and victory in the final race of the season. One of the prizes for winning the prestigious junior series was an opportunity to test a GP3 car, which he did at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. In December 2014, Russell became the youngest-ever winner of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, defeating Alexander Albon.
Over the next three seasons, Russell would compete in the GP3 series and the European Formula 3 Championship. During his time in F3, the young Brit achieved three victories over two seasons, finishing his first campaign second in the rookie standings behind Charles Leclerc.
For 2017, GP3 would be Russell's sole focus after signing with the impressive ART team. He had a solid start to the season, securing his first win of the season during the second race weekend in Austria. He then scored back-to-back pole positions at his home circuit of Silverstone, converting one into a race victory. Wins in Spa and Monza quickly followed as Russell built a significant lead in the championship. He ultimately sealed the series title in Jerez with a race weekend to spare.
Teams and teammates | George Russel
Russell's early career
It was at the age of eight that Russell started karting, progressing through to the cadet class by 2009, where he would then become MSA British Champion and British Open Champion.
In 2010, he added the Super One British Championship to his list of accolades, as well as the Formula Kart Stars British series. One year later, he graduated to the Junior Karting class, where he took the SKUSA Supernationals title and became the CIK-FIA European Junior Champion, in both 2012 and 2013.
For 2014, the Briton made his single-seater debut, competing in the Formula Renualt 2.0 ALPS Championship for the Koiranen GP team. He also won at Jerez in the Formula Renault finale in a one-off appearance.
In the same year, Russell competed in the BDRC Formula 4 Championship with defending champions Lanan Racing. He won the series by just three points from teammate Arjun Maini, after taking pole position and the win at the final race of the season.
One of the prizes for his victory was a chance to test a GP3 car, which he went on to do at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. In December 2014, Russell became the youngest ever recipient of the McLaren Autosport BDRC Award, beating his friend Alexander Albon in the process.
After just one year in Formula 4, Russell competed in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship for two seasons. He finished the 2016 campaign in third place, with two wins and several podiums under his belt.
2017 proved to be a promising year for Russell. The youngster was signed up to the Mercedes Young Driver Programme and competed in F1 support series GP3. Achieving four wins, seven podiums and four pole positions for the reputable ART Grand Prix squad enabled Russell to claim the championship with two races still to go.
This strong run of form resulted in Russell being given two Free Practice 1 outings in Formula 1 with the Force India team, with the first taking place at the Brazilian Grand Prix before the second at Abu Dhabi.
Formula 2 success
In January 2018, Russell's participation with ART Grand Prix in the upcoming FIA Formula 2 Championship was confirmed, and he also assumed the role of a reserve driver for Mercedes in Formula 1, sharing responsibilities with Pascal Wehrlein. The native of King's Lynn made an impressive start, securing a front-row qualification on his debut in Bahrain and finishing the race in fifth place.
During the subsequent race weekend in Baku, Russell clinched his first F2 victory, making a remarkable ascent through the field in the Sprint race to claim the win from the 12th position on the grid. He continued his success with a second win of the season in Barcelona's Feature race, narrowly defeating fellow rookie Nyck de Vries in the process.
After facing challenges in Monaco, he bounced back in France, securing his first F2 pole and dominating the race from start to finish. This marked his third win of the season, reestablishing Russell's control over the championship.
Russell ultimately secured the title with another victory in the Feature race at Abu Dhabi, where he outperformed his rival and fellow Briton, Lando Norris.
Rookie F1 season with Williams
His stellar performances in the junior ranks earned Russell a Formula 1 seat for the 2019 season, where he would be paired alongside Robert Kubica at Williams on a multi-year deal. The move to the Grove-based squad was facilitated in part by the team's partnership with engine provider Mercedes, given Russell's position as one of their junior drivers.
His first year with Williams would prove to be immensely challenging, as the squad had by far the slowest car on the grid in 2019. Nevertheless, Russell did show some good pace relative to his teammate and consistently outperformed Kubica, a former race winner, by 21 races to zero in qualifying.
Whilst his pace in qualifying was impressive, the race results were anything but, as Russell ended his debut Formula 1 season as the only driver without a point to his name. The best opportunity to score points came at the rain-affected German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, but the Briton missed out on 10th place finish – and therefore a point – after Kubica overtook him in the final laps.
Mixed fortunes in 2020
The 2020 season saw George Russell step up in terms of the consistency of his performances during Sunday's races. For his second year in the sport, Russell would be paired alongside F1 rookie and former Formula 2 rival Nicholas Latifi, with the Canadian replacing Kubica at Williams.
Qualifying continued to be especially fruitful for the Briton. Having a more competitive car underneath him, the young driver regularly started to appear in Q2. At the Styrian Grand Prix in Austria – the second event of the year – Russell qualified in P12 following a wet Saturday session.
An early trip to the gravel ended any hopes of points during Sunday's race, but strong qualifying performances were a regular occurrence for Russell during 2020.
Race results were a different matter entirely, however. At the Belgian Grand Prix, Russell was unfortunately taken out of the race by a stray wheel from Antonio Giovinazzi's crashed Alfa Romeo.
In the next race at Mugello, the Williams man kept his nose clean in what was a very attritional afternoon. After running in the points for much of it, Russell slipped back to 11th following a poor restart after a red flag.
One of the biggest disappointments for him in 2020 came at Imola during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Once again, Russell was running in the points, primed to score his first-ever F1 top 10 finish. But a bizarre incident, in which Russell lost control of his Williams behind the Safety Car and subsequently tagged the wall, meant that points evaded him once more.
Mercedes stand-in appearance
Russell's bad fortune wouldn't end there either, as a late substitute appearance for World Champions Mercedes ended disastrously. When regular Silver Arrows driver Lewis Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 on the eve of the Sakhir Grand Prix, Russell was drafted in to replace the seven-time World Champion.
Paired alongside Valtteri Bottas, the young F1 driver shone, missing out on pole position to his new teammate by less than a tenth. In the race itself, Russell got the better of Bottas at the start of the Grand Prix, assuming the lead after passing the Finn before the first corner.
However, Russell would suffer from poor luck once again, this time due to a pit-stop blunder. With 20 laps remaining, the Mercedes mechanics fitted Bottas' front tyres to Russell's car, leading him to have to re-pit on the next lap in order to correct the error.
This was compounded by Russell picking up a slow puncture just after, which forced him into yet another pit-stop. Russell came home in ninth place, finally registering his first World Championship points, but well aware that a first F1 win had been there for the taking.
The Briton would then return to Williams for the final race of the 2020 F1 season at Abu Dhabi, with Hamilton reassuming his seat at Mercedes. Russell wore a special helmet for the event in celebration of Frank and Claire Williams, who had both left the team – and F1 entirely – after the 2020 Italian Grand Prix. Russell qualified in 18th, ahead of only teammate Nicholas Latifi and Haas stand-in Pietro Fittipaldi, and ultimately finished the race in 15th position.
A chance to shine at Williams
For the 2021 season, Russell went into his third season with Williams, in spite of persistent rumours linking him with a Mercedes seat.
Ahead of racing getting underway, Russell was appointed as a director of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, replacing IndyCar-bound Romain Grosjean for the new season.
There was early drama for Russell at only the second race of the season, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The Briton collided with Valtteri Bottas after driving on a wet patch of track and losing control of his car whilst trying to overtake. This caused both cars to retire and also prompted a red flag, as well as a fiery response from Russell.
He accused Bottas of "trying to kill him" in the immediate aftermath but later retracted the comment, offering a public apology to his teams and fans via an Instagram post.
Despite the team still struggling to score points, Russell cemented his reputation as a 'Saturday man' during 2021 by again reaching Q2 on several occasions. A particular high point came at his home event at Silverstone, where he put his Williams into Q3, meaning that he lined up P8 on the grid for Saturday's Sprint race.
It was at the following race in Hungary though where Russell finally scored his first points for Williams by finishing eighth, leaving him visibly emotional afterwards.
After the summer break, Russell again put in an incredibly impressive performance in qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix. His solid lap in the wet conditions put him P2 on the grid.
Unfortunately, the race on Sunday was delayed due to the torrential rain before running for only one full lap behind the Safety Car. Russell was classified in second, and as such was able to celebrate his first podium finish in F1.
In the following month, it was announced after months of speculation that Russell would replace Bottas at Mercedes in 2022.
Meanwhile, on track, the young driver scored points for Williams on two more occasions in 2021. The end of the year proved to be frustrating for Russell, though, with two DNFs in the final two Grands Prix.
Stepping up to Mercedes
After three years of running near the back of the field, Russell looked set to finally have the chance to compete further up the grid in 2022 when he partnered Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.
However, the Silver Arrows caused a shock when they proved to be off the pace as the season got underway in Bahrain. Struggles with issues such as porpoising on the W13 car left Russell and Hamilton unable to match Red Bull and Ferrari.
Despite this, Russell claimed a surprise first podium for the team at the third race of the season in Australia, and managed to consecutively finish in the points for the first events of the campaign.
A frightening crash with Zhou Guanyu on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix resulted in Russell's only DNF of the year, but he went on to score several podiums before claiming an emotional debut victory in F1 at the penultimate race of the season in Brazil, leading Hamilton home in a 1-2 result.
Russell ended the campaign in fourth place in the World Championship standings.
The 2023 and 2024 season
The 2023 season brought an exciting battle for the second position in the constructors' championship. Russell had 4 DNFs but drove consistently throughout the season. He accumulated 175 points for the German team and secured two podium finishes. His teammate, Lewis Hamilton, amassed an impressive 234 points this season and finished 3rd in the championship.
In which position will Russell finish in the 2024 season?
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