Mercedes junior George Russell moves up to F2 with ART

© XPB 

As expected, 2017 GP3 champion George Russell will be racing in F2 this year, the Mercedes protégé remaining with ART Grand Prix in the F1 feeder series.

ART has handed both its 2017 GP3 chargers, Russell and Jack Aitken, a drive at the next level as the pair moves up the competitive ladder.

"I am very happy to be able to race in Formula 2 while continuing to drive for ART Grand Prix," Russell said.

"We had a very successful year together last season and so it makes sense to continue working together and seek out new successes.

"With the introduction of a new Formula 2 car, it will be challenging for all the teams to optimise the set-up from the start of the season, but I have every confidence in ART Grand Prix to get there and to be competitive as quickly as possible.

"I cannot wait to take part in the first race and fight against some of the best drivers and teams at the pinnacle of junior motorsport."

Russell enjoyed a dominant season in GP3 last year and was also entrusted with several F1 outings with Mercedes and its engine customer Force India.

"ART Grand Prix had a very enjoyable and fruitful year with George in GP3, both sporting and personal, so it was only natural that we renewed our partnership for Formula 2, hand in hand with Mercedes-Benz, where George is one of their young drivers," said ART team boss Sebastien Philippe.

"ART Grand Prix's experience together with George's talent should allow us to fight and defend our title in the entry series to Formula 1."

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