“I’m just so excited to be testing the W08,” said Russell, who is attending this weekend’s Azerbaijan race 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!”
Alongside competing for ART Grand Prix in the GP3 Series this season, Russell has completed significant simulator mileage for Mercedes at their Brackley base and has been training with the physical demands of F1 in mind.
The 19-year-old Briton first tested with the team in 2015, before joining the Mercedes-Benz Junior Programme this year. His Hungaroing session on August 1st and 2nd will be his first taste of 2017-spec Formula 1 machinery.
“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,” added Russell.
Teams have just four days of in-season testing, two of which must be given over to young drivers. Mercedes used race drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at the two-day session in Bahrain back in April.