Driver Profile: George Russell

NameGeorge William Russell
Date of Birth15 February 1998
Place of BirthKing’s Lynn, Norfolk, England
Car Number63
First Entry2019 Australian Grand Prix

Biography of F1 driver George Russell

Russell’s karting career began in 2006, and by 2009, he had made it to the cadet class while becoming MSA British champion and British Open champion.

After moving to the Rotax Mini Max category, Russell became Super One British champion, Formula Kart Starts British champion while also claiming the Kartmasters British Grand Prix. After graduating to the KF3 class in 2011, he took back-to-back titles in the CIK-FIA European Championship before finishing 19th in 2013, his final year in karting.

Mercedes’ George Russell arrives for testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Russell moves to single-seaters

Russell signed for the Prema Powerteam for the 2014 Formula Renault 2.0 Alps championship, however he ended up making a late move to Koiranen GP instead.

Appearances in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship and BRDC Formula 4 Championship followed, with Russell winning the latter thanks to victory at the final race of the season.

From there Russell made the move up to Formula 3 in 2015, where he claimed victory at the opening round of the season at Silverstone for Carlin. He ended the season sixth in the standings, and runner-up to Charles Leclerc in the rookie championship standings.

The Brit moved to Hitech GP for the 2016 season, scoring two victories to finish third in the standings.

Russell shines in GP3 and Formula 2

After testing for ART Grand Prix at Yas Marina in November 2016, Russell joined the team ahead of the 2017 GP3 Series season.

His first victory and pole position came at the second event of the season at the Red Bull Ring, and he eventually sealed the championship at Jerez with a round to go.

Russell remained at ART Grand Prix in 2018, where he competed in the Formula 2 Championship.

The Brit claimed his first win in Baku after starting from 12th on the grid, and he followed that up with a second victory in Barcelona.

A season-long battle with fellow Brit Lando Norris ensued, with Russell eventually coming out on top thanks to a victory at the feature race at Abu Dhabi.

Russell in F1

Russell joined the Mercedes junior driver programme in 2017, and made his debut for the team during the first practice session for Force India at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

A year later Russell joined Williams on a muti-year deal to drive alongside Robert Kubica. Unfortunately for the youngster, the Williams FW42 proved uncompetitive, though he did miss out on his first F1 points after being passed by Kubica in the closing laps of the German Grand Prix.

He ended the season 20th in the championship after becoming the only driver not to score a point.

Partnered by Nicholas Latifi for the 2020 F1 season, Russell failed to end his points drought despite coming close on several occasions. The Brit was running in 10th at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, only to crash while following the Safety Car, an incident he called “the biggest mistake of [his] career”.

Russell stands-in for Hamilton

Russell stood in for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes after he was ruled out of the Sakhir Grand Prix after contracting COVID-19. After narrowly missing out on pole to teammate Valtteri Bottas, the Brit led most of the race, only for disaster to strike with 20 laps remaining.

Mercedes fitted his car with Bottas’ front tyres, forcing him to pit the following lap. He then suffered a slow puncture which forced another pit stop, eventually finishing ninth to earn his first World Championship points.

First F1 podium

Russell remained with Williams for the 2021 season alongside Latifi, reaching Q3 for the first time with the team at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Despite the performance, he ended the race 11th after being passed by Fernando Alonso in the closing laps. He eventually scored his first points for Williams via an eighth-place finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Russell qualified second during the rain affected Belgian Grand Prix qualifying session, Williams’ first front row start since 2017. The race lasted just two laps behind the Safety Car due to wet weather, resulting in Russell claiming his first F1 podium finish.

After scoring more points at the Italian Grand Prix, Russell failed to add to his tally at the resining races, ending the season in 15th points, along with 16 of Williams’ 23 in total.

Russell joins Hamilton at Mercedes

Russell joined Mercedes for the 2022 season, taking over from Bottas to partner Hamilton.