Home Featured GP3 champion George Russell gets F1 practice runs with Force India

GP3 champion George Russell gets F1 practice runs with Force India

by Peter Allen

Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service

Recently-crowned GP3 champion George Russell will get his first running in Formula 1 race weekends when he drives for Force India in practice sessions in Brazil and Abu Dhabi this month.

The 19-year-old will replace Sergio Perez in first practice at Interlagos on Friday to run alongside his fellow Mercedes junior driver Esteban Ocon, whose place he will then take in Abu Dhabi two weeks later.

Russell was hired by Mercedes to its young driver programme at the start of this year, and undertook two days of testing with the constructors’ champion at the Hungaroring in August.

“2017 has already been a year full of great opportunities and to top off the season with these two outings feels fantastic,” he said.

“I?ve never driven the VJM10 before or driven at Interlagos, but I?m really looking forward to the challenge.

“I would like to say a big ?thank you? to Force India for this opportunity and also thank Mercedes for their continued support.”

Force India boss Vijay Mallya added: “We are happy to give George this opportunity. He?s an up-and-coming talent and we?ve followed his success in GP3 closely.

“George has already been in our simulator several times and has worked well with the team.

“Now that we have secured fourth place in the championship, it?s the ideal time to look to the future and handing George his free practice debut will allow us to evaluate his potential.”