George Russell Aiming To ‘Put Pressure’ On Toto Wolff For 2019 F1 Seat


George Russell - ART - F2 - Paddock
Credit: Zak Mauger / FIA Formula 2

FIA Formula 2 Championship leader George Russell is aiming to put the ‘pressure’ on Toto Wolff over obtaining a drive in Formula 1 for 2019.

The ART Grand Prix driver heads into the summer break as championship leader in F1’s feeder series, beating rival Lando Norris.

Russell has won four races in his inaugural season and lies twelve points ahead of Norris in the Carlin Motorsport car going into the final four rounds.

The twenty-year old tested with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team in Budapest for two days, achieving the unofficial lap record of the track during the test.

Russell’s performances in F2 and his connections with Mercedes has created an interest with Williams Martini Racing and Sahara Force India F1 Team for a possible drive next year.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Russell believes that resuming his performances with ART will hopefully encourage Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff to find him a drive for next year.

“I think it’s going well in the sense that what we are doing in F2, it can still be better there’s no doubt but we’re doing, as a team with ART we are doing a really good job.” said Russell.

“I think I am really being able to show everybody what I’m capable of and I think it’s definitely putting pressure on Toto [Wolff] and other teams on the grid to look at me, hopefully, and see they can have a good relationship with this drive.

“And from that side I’m pleased with how the season is going. All I can do is keep on putting pressure on these teams.”

Russell is the favourite to take the Williams seat as Mercedes and the Oxford based team extended their technical partnership for 2019, which could extend to the team’s driver line-up. Current Williams driver Lance Stroll is predicted to go to Force India with his father expecting to by the team, after they’ve recently entered into administration. Sergey Sirotkin is signed to the team on a multi-year contract and is expected to stay for a second year with the team.