Wisbech racer George Russell wins prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award
- Credit: Archant
Fenland motorsport sensation George Russell capped off a phenomenal year by winning the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award last night.
Russell, 16, from Tydd St Giles, near Wisbech, this year’s BRDC British Formula 4 champion, won a £100,000 cash prize and a test drive in a McLaren Formula 1 car.
Russell beat five other young drivers to the award after a gruelling assessment which saw all six pitted against each other in a Formula 2 car, a McLaren GT car and a Mercedes-Benz DTM car.
After picking up the award, Russell said: “I’m lost for words. It’s been a long wait since the two-day test.
“There have been some great past winners of this award and I hope to do as well as them.”
“I can’t thank everyone on my table enough - I don’t know what to say.”
One of the judges of the award was Derek Warwick, president of the BRDC and also a former Formula 1 driver, who said: “He was outstanding right from the beginning. He was top of all the timesheets.”
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Russell had a glittering career in karting, winning British and European championships, before graduating to cars at the start of 2014.
He won the BRDC British Formula 4 championship after a final-round showdown and made a guest appearance in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup finale, in Jerez, where he took a stunning victory.
The McLaren Autosport BRDC Award was set up in 1989 to reward and recognise young racing drivers from the UK. It is backed by the McLaren Formula 1 team, motorsport magazine Autosport and the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC).
Previous winners include 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button, ex-Formula 1 drivers David Coulthard, Ralph Firman and Paul di Resta, four-time IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti and sportscar racer Oliver Jarvis, from Burwell.
Among guests at last night’s Autosport Awards were many leading figures in motorsport, representing Formula 1, rallying, touring cars and sportscar racing.
Also among those recognised was Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, who won the International Racing Driver of the Year and British Competition Driver of the Year awards.