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2014 BRDC Formula 4 Champion George Russell will race for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team at this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix, standing in for seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton who is unable to compete following a positive COVID-19 test.
Russell, who won the championship that would two years later go on to become BRDC British F3 with Lanan Racing, makes the switch to the most coveted drive in F1 for this weekend following two seasons with Williams Racing. Russell becomes the third Brit to race in F1 for Mercedes-Benz, following in the footsteps of Hamilton and Stirling Moss just six years from his first full season of car racing in BRDC F4.
Russell won five races in BRDC F4, eventually winning the title in a thrilling showdown at Snetterton, before progressing to the FIA F3 Championship where he won just his second race. He then won both the GP3 and FIA Formula 2 titles at the first time of asking before securing his place on the F1 grid with Williams. George joined the Mercedes-Benz Junior Programme in 2017, and that relationship has blossomed over the past few seasons, culminating in his promotion for this weekend.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Principal and CEO Toto Wolff said: "It will not be a straightforward task for George to make the transition from the Williams to the W11, but he is race-ready and has detailed understanding of the 2020 tyres and how they perform on this generation of cars. George has shown impressive form this year with Williams, playing an instrumental role in their climb up the grid, and I am optimistic that he will deliver a strong performance alongside Valtteri, who will be a demanding reference for him. This race will mark a small milestone for us, as we see a member of our Junior programme compete for the works Mercedes team for the first time."
Russell will be joined on the grid this weekend by another BRDC F4 graduate in Pietro Fittipaldi, who is debuting with the Haas F1 Team, whilst Lando Norris who won races in the BRDC British F3 Championship continues his successful run with McLaren.
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