Factbox-Motor racing-New Mercedes F1 driver George Russell


FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Sakhir Grand Prix - Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain - December 5, 2020 Mercedes' George Russell celebrates after qualifying in second position Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Factbox on British Formula One driver George Russell, announced by Mercedes on Tuesday as the next team mate for seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton.

* Born in King's Lynn, England, on Feb 15, 1998, Russell took up karting at the age of seven.

* Russell won the 2014 British Formula Four title and in 2017 the GP3 championship with French team ART. He then moved up to Formula Two in 2018, also winning that title at the first attempt with seven race victories.

His closest F2 rivals that year were now-McLaren driver Lando Norris and Red Bull-backed Alexander Albon.

* The Briton was named Mercedes F1 reserve driver in 2018. He also tested and took part in Friday practice sessions with Force India (now Aston Martin).

* Russell made his F1 debut with Williams in 2019, partnering Polish veteran Robert Kubica. He was the only driver unable to score a point that year.

* Williams struggled again in 2020 with an uncompetitive car but Russell scored his first points as a stand-in at Mercedes for Hamilton in Bahrain after his compatriot tested positive for COVID-19. The youngster started on the front row and led before misfortune dropped him to ninth, but with fastest lap.

* He scored his first points for Williams in Hungary last month with eighth place after starting 17th. In Belgium he secured the team's first podium finish since 2017 with second place in a 'race' of a couple of laps behind the safety car.

* Russell was appointed a director of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association in March 2021 as a replacement for departed Frenchman Romain Grosjean.

* Named on Sept. 7 as Hamilton's team mate for 2022, replacing Valtteri Bottas.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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