George Russell aims to make more happy memories in FIA Formula Three European Championship bow
- Credit: James Gasperotti/JGP Images/Carl
Hot prospect George Russell hopes home advantage can help him get his Formula Three career off to a flying start.
The 17-year-old makes his FIA F3 European Championship debut at Silverstone today on the back of a sensational 2014 which saw his profile explode on an international scale. The King's Lynn-based ace – who won a glittering haul of trophies during his karting days – lifted the British Formula Four crown last year as well as the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC (British Racing Drivers' Club) award.
So many eyes will be on Russell at the home of British motorsport when he makes the step up from F4 with his new outfit Carlin Racing during this afternoon's first qualifying session of the season-opening weekend.
The talented teenager said: 'I couldn't have really asked for a better track to start on to be honest.
'It's the track I did my 'shoot-out' out on for the McLaren award, which I won, so I've got good memories there. And my first (single-seater) car victory was there too.
'For the only British (F3 Euro Champs) circuit of the season to be the first (race) means hopefully I'll be able to get off to a good start and gain some momentum for the season.'
A host of current Formula One stars, including four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and double championship winner Lewis Hamilton, have cut their teeth in the F3 arena before making the step up to the sport's pinnacle.
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This year's 11-round calendar will take in famous circuits such as Hockenheim (Germany), Spa (Belgium) and Monza (Italy) with Tydd St Giles-raised Russell looking forward to testing himself in a 35-strong field.
'We felt Formula Three was the best option for me to go to (after winning the award),' added the former Wisbech Grammar School pupil, who will race once on Saturday and twice on Sunday.
'It seems that is where a lot of Formula One teams are looking at the moment. It's been a massive step up (from F4). Carlin is a massive outfit and there's a lot of people working for the team so that side of it is great. I was in Valencia for the first official test, which we ended P2 (second), which was a good start. So far it's looking all right.'
To hear the full in-depth interview with Russell listen to episode 61 of the West Norfolk Sports Podcast at www.edp24.co.uk/wnsp