Williams Formula 1 driver George Russell has tipped Callum Ilott to win this year’s Formula 2 title. 

Ilott currently leads fellow Ferrari F1 junior Robert Shwartzman by 18 points at the top of this year’s F2 championship standings. Both drivers have taken two wins each, while Ilott has been on pole at three of the past four events. 

Speaking after the Spanish Grand Prix, Russell revealed he has been paying close attention to this year’s F2 season and backed his fellow compatriot to beat Shwartzman to the crown. 

The 22-year-old Briton, who claimed back-to-back title triumphs in GP3 and F2 before moving up to F1 with Williams in 2019, said he has also been impressed by rookie Felipe Drugovich and his former Hitech F3 teammate Nikita Mazepin, both of whom have taken breakthrough wins in the series this year. 

"I am following F2 closely this year," Russell, who raced Ilott in European Formula 3 in 2016, explained. 

"I was really impressed with Drugovich. I don't know him well, I don't know a lot about his background, but I know he's been consistently there. I thought his race today was really impressive.

"I think it's got to be between Shwartzman and Ilott [for the title].

"I think Mazepin surprised me [and] is actually doing very well at the moment. He was very unfortunate to get the penalty. I think that was a little bit harsh for him, and he should have finished third.

"He came from P14 to P6 or something, and was actually probably one of the quickest on track. I think he's going to be a surprise driver in the latter phase of this year coming through, so it's gonna be tight. But I think I think Ilott will win it.”

The 2020 F2 season continues this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.