Esteban Ocon’s career at Sahara Force India F1 Team is an example of how to get a seat in Formula 1 in the future for George Russell.
Ocon had his first taste of Formula 1 while testing the Force India back in 2015 before getting a race seat at Manor Racing for the second half of the 2016 season. The Frenchman has gone onto Force India and had a strong first year with the team.
When Russell was asked if Ocon was a role model he replied: “A little bit.
“I think Mercedes saw it more than I did to be honest.” Russell said. “What they’ve done with has been great, bringing him through the ranks from GP3 upwards really, and obviously put him with Force India after he did a great job in test sessions with them.
“They know that Force India is a great place for any young driver to start their career.”
Russell had two Friday practice outings with the team at the end of the 2017 season and is hoping to get more practice sessions under his belt but wants to concentrate on a Formula 2 Championship title challenge.
“I hope that’s the plan,” said Russell when asked about the potential of more Friday practice appearances. “Certainly talking with Mercedes, I think we’re fairly pleased with what I’ve been doing at the end of this year.
“Obviously again my main priority will be Formula 2 next year, and this all came about because we had sealed the championship already in GP3.
The nineteen year old is well aware that the Formula 2 Championship could be his route in to a full time seat.
“I don’t want anything to overlap because I’m quite aware that if I win Formula 2 next year, I’ll be given the opportunity the following year to drive in F1.”