George Russell is set to make the switch from FIA European Formula 3 to the GP3 Series for the 2017 season where he is set to line up for ART Grand Prix.
This comes as Russell has been announced as the newest member of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Junior Driver Programme, other members of this programme are Formula One drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon.
“It’s great to be part of the Junior Programme,” commented Russell, “It is an incredible opportunity to have the backing of the Formula One World Champions. I’m proud to have been given this kind of recognition for all the hard work that’s gone into my career over the years so far.”
In the 2016 F3 championship, Mercedes powered Russell to a total of: three pole positions, two wins, ten podiums and five fastest laps.
“George [Russell] has shown impressive form in the junior categories and we’ve been keeping a close eye on him for a while now,” commented Toto Wolff, “it’s still early days in his career but we see great potential in him.”
Russell will be lining up for ART, following in the footsteps of fellow Mercedes junior Ocon and newly announced F1 driver Valtteri Bottas – both of whom won the championship for the French outfit before stepping up to F1.
With testing for the 2017 GP3 Series is still a number of weeks away, to put his spare time to good use Russell will be maximising his time at Brackley in preparation.
“I’ve started doing some work with the team in the simulator and it’s already become clear to me that I’m working with people who are the best in the business, who I know will help me develop as a driver and as a person,” continued Russell “of course, my priority is to get the job done over the coming season in GP3 and I’m fully focused on that. But this opportunity is a huge motivation and I’m looking forward to the challenge. It should be an exciting year ahead.”