George Russell

Country: 
Full Name: 
George Russell
Birth Date: 
15 February, 1998
Birth Place: 
King's Lynn
Driver Status: 
Current
Driver Height: 
185cm
Driver Weight: 
70kg
38
Races
0
Wins
0
Poles
0
Titles

George Russell Biography

George Russell - Williams Racing F1 Driver

George Russell Career Overview and Fast Links

  • Career Overview

  • 2021 Williams F1 Team Launch

  • Pre-F1 Career

  • F1 Williams (2019, 2020, 2021)

  • F1 Mercedes (2020)

  • Fast Facts

George Russell F1 Career Overview

George Russell will compete with Williams Racing in the 2021 F1 World Championship for what will be his third season both in F1 and with the British team.

While the emergence of young British talent will inevitably prompt (lazy) headlines questioning whether they are ‘the next Lewis Hamilton’, with George Russell that remains a very distinct possibility despite a frustratingly fruitless first two years in the top flight with Williams.

One of the three Mercedes development drivers to reach F1 (together with Pascal Wehrlein and - briefly - Esteban Ocon), Russell is the only one to have progressed via the single-seater ranks with success in F3, plus titles in GP3 and F2 in consecutive years.

Since then Russell’s ascent has come in tandem with Williams’ decline, giving him precious few opportunities to score in uncompetitive machinery. Nonetheless, he has shone relative to his car on numerous occasions, which earned him an unexpected shot at replacing the COVID-stricken Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, a race he was on course to win but for a bungled pit-stop.

To date [March 2021], Russell has made 39 grand prix starts with a best finish of ninth [2020 Sakhir GP with Mercedes] and is yet to score a point with Williams.

George Russell 2021 F1 Net Worth: $1 million (source)

George Russell 2021 F1 Driver Salary: $1 million (source)

*third party source

2021 Williams F1 Team Launch

George Russell - Route to F1

A rapid progression through the karting ranks saw Russell notch up Super One British and Formula Kart Stars British champion titles, while he was also the winner of the Kartmasters British Grand Prix. This allowed him to progress to the continent where he was CIK-FIA European Champion in 2011 and 2012.

Making his car racing debut in 2014 with dual-campaigns in the BRDC Formula 4 Championship and Formula Renault 2.0 Alps series’, Russell romped to the title in the former with five victories and was fourth overall in the latter, finishing behind future F1 rival Charles Leclerc.

A McLaren BRDC Award and selection for the BRDC SuperStars programme duly assured Russell’s status as one of the UK’s most promising youngsters.

F3

Russell made his big stage debut in the 2015 FIA Formula 3 European Championship with crack British outfit Carlin and promptly impressed by claiming a victory in the opening round, held on home soil at Silverstone. 

Though it would prove to be his only win (and only one of two further trips to the podium) Russell compared well against future F1 rivals Antonio Giovinazzi, Leclerc, Lance Stroll and Alex Albon to end up sixth overall on the strength of a consistent finishing record that saw him out of the points in only five of the 30 races. He also picked up a notable second place finish in the Masters of F3 blue riband race at Zandvoort.

For the following season Russell switched to HitechGP and was the most convincing rival to a Prema stronghold that saw it win 20 of the 30 races and lock-out four of the top seven positions in the overall standings. 

Back on the top of the podium at Pau and Spa, 11 podiums in total would see Russell sneak third in the overall standings behind runaway champion Stroll and Maximilian Gunther. 

GP3

Switching to the F1-supporting GP3 Series for 2017, Russell this time not only found himself as part of the series’ most dominant team - ART Grand Prix - but he was also its leader as he romped to a comfortable title victory.

Heading up an ART Grand Prix 1-2-3-4 (Jack Aitken, Nirei Fukuzumi and Anthoine Hubert), Russell topped the podium on four occasions to front his team-mates by a clear 79 points by the conclusion of the season. 

His success came in the wake of confirmation he had been inducted into the Mercedes-AMG Petronas’ junior driver programme, making his debut with the multiple title-winning team at the in-season Budapest test. He also received two race weekend outings with Force India, driving in FP1 at Interlagos and Abu Dhabi.

F2

Russell’s performance earned him a direct promotion in the FIA F2 Championship, once more with ART, and duly grasped his opportunity with both hands to secure his second title on the trot with seven victories against formidable competition.

A winner from Round 2 in Baku, Russell added success in Catalunya, Paul Ricard, Red Bull Ring, Monza, Sochi and Abu Dhabi to walk away with a vast 58 point advantage over nearest challenger Norris and Albon.

George Russell F1 Career (2019 - Present)

George Russell 2019 F1 Results Overview
ROKiT Williams Racing FW42 Mercedes
-Races21
-Wins0
-Podiums0
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish11th (Austrian GP, German GP)
-2019 F1 Points0 Points
-2019 F1 Championship Standing20th

With the top three from the 2018 F2 Championship each landing F1 drives for 2019, Russell was placed at Williams Racing under the direction of Mercedes..

Frustratingly for Russell he found himself in an increasingly cash-strapped team in the midst of a decline that began in 2017, unlike rivals Norris and Albon who had ended up at the more competitive McLaren and Toro Rosso teams instead. 

Paired with a race winner in Robert Kubica, who was making a high-profile return to F1 after ten years out of action due to arm injuries sustained in an off-season rallying accident, Russell had an impressive benchmark on which to test himself.

This proved just as well since the Williams FW42 was comfortably the slowest car on the F1 grid in 2019 and Russell spent his year trying to make up a significant amount of time just to get the machine off the back row. Even so, though Kubica was admittedly a shadow of a former racer that was being primed for a Ferrari move back in the day, Russell still rammed home the advantage by out-qualifying him in all 21 races.

With the car too slow on a level playing field, it would take unusual factors for him to get into contention - such as the high-attrition Austrian GP and the weather-affected German GP - but the points would remain just out of his grasp with Russell classified 11th on both occasions. 

Gallingly for him, it was Kubica that scored the team’s sole point in 2019 with a run to tenth in Germany - after overtaking the Briton late on in conditions where his experience told - but Russell was still widely praised for out-performing the machinery available to him all year.

George Russell 2020 F1 Results Overview
Williams Racing FW43 Mercedes / Mercedes-AMG Petronas W11
-Races16 [Williams - 15 / Mercedes - 1]
-Wins0
-Podiums0
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish11th (Williams - Tuscany GP) 9th (Mercedes - Sakhir GP)
-2020 F1 Points3 Points
-2020 F1 Championship Standing18th

Despite some talk Russell could be set for a switch to Mercedes-associated Racing Point for 2020, the move by Lawrence Stroll to bring Aston Martin Racing on board for 2021 would put an end to the talks.

As such, Russell stayed with Williams for the 2020 F1 season and benefited from a significantly quicker - albeit still mid-to-tail end competitive - car to further demonstrate his potential for the future, comfortably clear of new counterpart Nicholas Latifi, whom he’d enjoy a 100% qualifying record over for the second consecutive year.

Indeed qualifying would prove a surprising strength for Russell throughout the 2020 F1 season, hauling the Williams FW43 off the back row and into Q2 on ten occasions, peaking with an 11th place start during Round 2 at the Styrian Grand Prix.

However, while the Williams proved well-sorted over a single lap in Russell’s hands, its race set-up would be more of a compromise and the Briton would often find himself losing ground to rivals around him over a longer distance.

That’s not to say Russell didn’t get close - agonisingly so - when a poor standing restart after a red flag towards the end of the Tuscan Grand Prix saw him slip from ninth to 11th at the chequered flag, while he spun out of a points’ paying position behind the safety car at Imola.

It meant points would elude the youngster for the second consecutive year in Williams colours, even if his qualifying efforts alone compounded the widely held impression it will be a matter of when, rather than if he finds significant success at F1 level.

Mercedes call-up at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix

Even so, Russell didn’t come away from the season empty-handed, the legacy of an immensely impressive - albeit unrepresentative - ninth place result in the Sakhir Grand Prix at the wheel of the title-winning Mercedes W11.

With a seat opening up unexpectedly ahead of the race after Lewis Hamilton contracted COVID, Russell was ‘promoted’ out of the Williams for a one-off outing, seen by many as a deliberate direct comparison with Valtteri Bottas, whom he is tipped to replace outright in 2022.

Up to speed straight away, Russell was only beaten to pole position by Bottas by a tenth - ironically making it the first time a team-mate had out-qualified him - but a better start saw him lead for much of the race and on course for his maiden win (and maiden points).

In the end a bungled pit-stop, caused by Mercedes fitting the wrong tyres to his car, necessitated another stop and dropped him down the order to an eventual ninth for what was still his first points in F1.

George Russell will drive for Williams Racing in the 2021 F1 World Championship

While Mercedes might have come to a different conclusion had Russell’s call-up come earlier in the season, with no space at the title-winning inn (for now), he will enter into his third season with Williams Racing.

Nonetheless, on the strength of his performance in Bahrain, it is widely considered Russell is the hot favourite to land a seat at the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team for the 2022 F1 season. 

Beyond Russell, this is the first full year in F1 for Williams’ new owners - Dorilton Capital - after it successfully completed a buyout of the team on the weekend of the 2020 Italian Grand Prix. 

Resulting in both Sir Frank Williams and erstwhile team principal Claire Williams stepping down from their positions, it means the Williams family is no longer involved in the team, though the name will remain for the time being. 

George Russell Fast Facts

  • To date, George Russell has been out-qualified only once in 39 starts. Ironically it came with his best starting position of second in the Sakhir Grand Prix, just behind temporary team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who started on pole.

  • Though his ninth place finish in the race wasn’t representative of his speed, he did gain an extra point for achieving the first fastest lap of his F1 career

  • Russell has one of the best finishing records in F1 having completed 33 of the 39 races he has started

  • He is so far the only British driver to have won the modern iteration of F2 and the third to win the feeder category since 2005 when GP2 was formed out of F3000, along with Lewis Hamilton (2006) and Jolyon Palmer (2014)