F2 racer Russell set to test with two F1 teams

George Russell, Force India, Brazilian Grand Prix
© XPB 

Mercedes protégé George Russell will enjoy the luxury of testing with two F1 teams this season in addition to his commitments in the FIA Formula 2 championship.

As Mercedes' development driver, a role he shares this season alongside Pascal Wehrlein, Russell will test once again with the Silver Arrows outfit, likely at F1's young driver tests scheduled at Barcelona next month and in Hungary at the end of July.

But the 20-year-old will also continue his working relationship with Force India, having been entrusted in 2017 with two Friday free practice outings with the Silverstone-based outfit in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

Russell's involvement with Force India will likely entail selected FP1 runs and simulator work alongside the pink outfit's official third driver, Nicholas Latifi.

Speaking to Autosport, the ART Grand Prix F2 racer called Force India "a great place [where] I can start my F1 career".

"There's no reason we shouldn't continue to build on that relationship throughout this season," added the 2017 GP3 champion.

"Mercedes are fully behind me with that thought, but we are both on the same page in saying that Formula 2 is my main priority and focus.

"It's very easy in my position to get caught up in the F1 dream and forgetting about going out and winning F2."

A victorious challenge in F2 coupled with productive test outings with Mercedes and its customer team would no doubt position the young hopeful nicely for a graduation to the big time in 2018.

"Force India is the place that I'm looking towards for next season," he said.

"We're continuing a relationship this year and there's no reason why that shouldn't expand into a full-time seat next year.

"The great thing with Mercedes is they give the young drivers an opportunity if they deserve it.

"If I perform this season in F2 and Mercedes believe I've done a good enough job to justify an F1 seat, they will find a seat for me."

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