Outstanding motor-racing prospect George Russell may just have had a taste of things to come.
The 17 year-old from Wisbech has just completed his first test drive in a Formula 1 car.
Only four days after the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season finale, Carlin driver Russell was offered the chance of driving a Formula 1 car for the first time in his life.
At Silverstone, the British GP circuit, the second-best rookie of the 2015 FIA Formula 3 European championship season tested a 2011 McLaren F1 car.
“I still can’t believe that I just completed my first laps in a Formula 1 car,” Russell beamed. “And I did so with McLaren, one of the greatest teams in the sport! That’s a privilege many will never experience.”
The test for McLaren was the award Russell received for having won the 2014 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award that annually crowns the best up-and-coming British racing drivers.
During his F1 testing debut at Silverstone, Russell completed a total of 16 laps.
“Driving the car proved to be relatively easy but I think I prepared well. Nonetheless, it was an outstanding experience. The cornering speed is just incredible and the same applies to the fact that you can brake so late,” said Russell, who contested the 2015 FIA Formula 3 European Championship season for Carlin.
“Now I’ve got a first taste of Formula 1 and this experience will motivate me to try even harder to make sure that it wasn’t the last one.”
Russell did not only convince during his first outing in a Formula 1 cockpit but also in his FIA Formula 3 European Championship debut season.
He caused a stir by winning one of the rounds of the season opener at Silverstone and secured another two podiums by finishing second at the Norisring and third at Spa-Francorchamps. In the end, the teenager ranked sixth in the championship and finished second behind Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing) in the rookie standings.