George Russell is a British racing driver currently competing in Formula One and driving for Williams. He is also part of the Mercedes Driver Academy. He’s won the 2018 Formula 2 championship and 2017 GP3 Series before graduating to Formula One.
George Russel was born in King’s Lynn, Norfolk to his parents Steve and Alison. He is the youngest alongside two siblings: Cara and Benjy. Russell took up karting at the age of 7 as both George and his brother Benjy were involved in competitive karting. Russell was educated at the Wisbech Grammar School before moving to Milton Keynes at the age of 18.
Russell began karting in 2006 and progressed to the cadet class by 2009, becoming MSA British champion and British Open champion. In 2010 he became Super One British champion, Formula Kart Stars British champion, and also won the Kartmasters British Grand Prix. He graduated to KF3 class in 2011, winning the SKUSA Supernationals title. He successfully defended the title in 2012 as well.
Formula Renault 2.0
Russell made his single-seater debut in 2014, racing in the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps championship for Koiranen GP. Despite missing one round because of illness he finished fourth in the championship.
Formula 3 European Championship
He graduated to Formula 3 in 2015 and made his debut with Carlin. He got his first race victory in the opening round of the season ahead of Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi. He took further podium finishes to finish sixth in the championship behind the likes of Charles Leclerc and Lance Stroll. In the 2016 season, Russell scored two victories and finished third in the standings.
Russell signed with ART Grand Prix for the 2017 GP3 series season. Despite facing some challenges initially, he was able to sail through and comfortably win the championship, beating the likes of Anthoine Hubert and Jack Aitken in the process.
Formula 2 Championship
After winning the GP3 series Russell graduated to the Formula 2 Championship with ART Grand Prix in 2018. In a field stacked with future Formula One drivers in Lando Norris and Alexander Albon, Russell was able to separate himself from the field after a slow start to the season. He would go on to win the title with a victory at the feature race in Abu Dhabi, beating fellow Brit Lando Norris in the process.
After dominating the junior categories Russell got an opportunity to drive for Williams in Formula One for the 2019 season alongside Formula One veteran Robert Kubica. In his debut season, Russell impressed one and all with his impressive speed as he would consistently outqualify his teammate at every race. Although the lack of a competitive car did mask Russell’s potential but the considerable gap he enjoyed against Kubica made it clear that Russell was a special talent.
Although Kubica would be the one who would score a point for the team, Russell showed his potential in his debut season by outqualifying Robert at every race in the season.
For the 2020 season, Russell was joined by Nicholas Latifi as his teammate. The Williams car was still unable to bridge the gap to the midfield and it left Russell stranded in a backmarker for another season. The season would pan out similar to Russell’s debut as he was able to outqualify his teammate on every race weekend.
All this changed for one weekend though when Lewis Hamilton test positive for Covid-1 and George Russell was given the opportunity to drive the Mercedes for the weekend. In clearly the fastest car on the grid, Russell qualified 2nd and was able to jump his teammate Valtteri Bottas at the start. Russell, still learning the car in his first weekend with the team was able to keep a healthy gap to Bottas and looked certain to take the victory. This however wasn’t meant to be as Mercedes messed up Russell’s pitstop and then the subsequent puncture later in the race ruined any chance of getting the victory. Russell would finish the race in 9th and received praise from everyone for his performance through the weekend.
Back to Williams
After the stand-in role at Mercedes, Russell was back at Williams and continued to put in impressive performances. He would end the season 18th in the standings after getting 3 points in the Sakhir GP.
Russell would be staying at Williams for the 2021 season.
- Mclaren Autosport BRDC Award(2014)
- BRDC Superstar(2015)
Father: Steve Russell
Mother: Alison Russell
Brother: Benjy Russell
Sister: Cara Russell