Mercedes Junior and GP3 Series championship contender George Russell will complete both of the Mercedes’ two in-season rookie days during the Budapest test on August 1 and 2.
In-season testing is a precious commodity in modern Formula One, with the sporting rules permitting just four days per team, per season. What’s more, a driver who has competed in no more than two F1 races during his or her career must complete at least two of those four days.
In 2017, GP3 front-runner and Mercedes Junior George Russell will be the man behind the wheel of the F1 W08 EQ Power+ for both of the allocated rookie days.
Russell will complete the two-day in-season test at the Hungaroring on August 1 and 2 in the week following the Hungarian Grand Prix.
“I’m just so excited to be testing the W08,” said Russell, who is attending this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix to embed himself further with the team.
“I’ve probably driven more virtual laps than anyone else with this car so it’s going to be incredible to drive it in reality!”
Indeed, the test marks another important milestone on Russell’s career path after he joined the Mercedes-Benz Junior Programme for 2017.
Alongside his primary focus for this season, racing for ART Grand Prix in the GP3 Series, Russell has completed significant simulator mileage for the team back at base in Brackley and has been training with the physical demands of F1 in mind.
The 19-year-old Brit got his first experience at the wheel of a Silver Arrow, the W06 from 2015, during a private test at Portimao in early April, familiarising himself with the team’s working methods.
Amid the excitement of his first taste of 2017-spec F1 machinery, Russell said, “My biggest priority is to do a good job for the team, to tick off the items on the engineers’ programme and make sure we get the most out of the car and our running over the two days.”