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Russell to make Friday debut with Force India in Brazil

07 Nov 2017

Recently crowned GP3 champion George Russell will make his F1 practice debut in Brazil this weekend, taking the wheel of Sergio Perez’s Force India for the opening session at Interlagos.

Russell, a Mercedes young driver, will then get a further practice run-out in the VJM10 at the season finale in Abu Dhabi in Esteban Ocon’s cockpit.

“I’m extremely excited to be driving in free practice for Sahara Force India in Brazil and Abu Dhabi,” said Russell, 19.

“2017 has already been a year full of great opportunities and to top off the season with these two outings feels fantastic.

“I’ve never driven the VJM10 before or driven at Interlagos, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge. I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Sahara Force India for this opportunity and also thank Mercedes for their continued support.”

Vijay Mallya, Force India’s Team Principal and Managing Director, added he was ‘happy’ to give Russell an opportunity to drive on the highest stage.

“He’s an up-and-coming talent and we’ve followed his success in GP3 closely,” he said.

“George has already been in our simulator several times and has worked well with the team. Now that we have secured fourth place in the championship, it’s the ideal time to look to the future and handing George his free practice debut will allow us to evaluate his potential.”

As a member of Mercedes young driver programme, Russell conducted two days of testing for the Silver Arrows at the Hungaroring in August.

The British racer will dovetail his practice outing for Force India in Abu Dhabi with the final two rounds of the GP3 series, which support the Grand Prix at Yas Marina.