Motorsport - podium finish for Russell in Belgium

George Russell on the podium in Belgium yesterday.

George Russell on the podium in Belgium yesterday.

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Wisbech whizzkid George Russell (17) secured a podium finish in round five of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in Belgium yesterday (June 21).

Racing at the famous Spa Francorchamps circuit, the Carlin team driver was delighted to finish third in the final race of the weekend after two frustrating qualifying sessions.

In the first he was impeded by another driver when looking certain to qualify third but instead had to settle for 11th. Then in the second session his best lap was deleted after the red flag came out because of rain three seconds before he crossed the line.

In the first race proper, Russell made a lighting start and did well to finish sixth overall.

A number of incidents in race two meant Russell had little chance of pushing his way through the field from 22nd on the grid.

But it all came good in race three where some excellent racecraft and tyre management resulted in a third place finish.

Russell said: “It was a 50-50 call with slicks or wets, but we opted for slicks which turned out to be the right call.

“I started 21st on the grid and made a great start. From then on I kept on pushing and had great pace. I was catching the guys ahead of me and managed to get passed them quickly. Before I knew it, I was in the battle for third place and managed to pull it off.

“It was a great result to come away with a podium after such an unlucky qualifying, but now we can go to the next race and really push for more.”