Motor-racing - Russell storms to victory on Formula 3 debut weekend

George Russell on the top of the podium at Silverstone.
George Russell on the top of the podium at Silverstone.
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George Russell got his rookie Formula 3 season off to a sensational start at Silverstone at the weekend (April 11).

The 17 year-old from Wisbech, one of British motorsport’s brightest new talents, scored a stunning victory at the home of UK motorsport.

Competing in the first round of the FIA Formula 3 European Series, Russell won the second of the three weekend races.

He made a fantastic start to the race, overtaking pole sitter Charles Leclerc to claim the lead, and went on to dominate an intense race that required a huge amount of maturity and race craft to deal with a safety car period and mounting pressure in the closing laps to score his maiden victory.

Having already made a very strong start to the season by coming home eighth in his opening race, Russell crossed the line 1.723 seconds ahead of Charles Leclerc to win Race 2.

The Carlin driver went on to finish Race 3 in fifth place and left the first round of the championship third in the drivers standings.

The FIA Formula 3 series now moves to Germany with Round Two taking place at Hockenheim on the weekend of May 1-3.

Russell, a former European karting champion, won the BRDC Formula 4 Championship last season and picked up the coveted McLaren Autosport BRDC award.

He said: “Coming away with a win in the championship and leading the rookie standings is a great way to start my Formula 3 campaign.

“We were a bit unfortunate in Race 1 when I got hit by a driver who crashed into the side of me while I was fourth. But it was fantastic to recover back to eight after dropping down to 18th.

“And of course, going on to win Race 2 from the front row was brilliant. It was a dream start to get my first win so early on in the championship.

“Another positive from the weekend was I was one of only three drivers to come away with points from all three races. So I’m sure if we can keep that stat up we’ll be in with a good shot at winning the title.

“We still have to keep pushing as the series is so competitive but I’m sure we’ll be able to go into Round 2 and produce another good weekend.”