Tydd St Giles Lanan racer George Russell, 16, pulls off spectacular win to become BRDC Formula 4 Champion
- Credit: Archant
George Russell staged a stunning fightback in a dramatic final-round showdown at Snetterton to become 2014 BRDC Formula 4 Champion.
Straight after a sensational maiden Formula Renault Eurocup win at Jerez, the Tydd St Giles racer Russell arrived at his local track determined to finish his F4 season in style with Lanan Racing.
The 16-year-old, who trailed leader Arjun Maini by 21 points, clinched the title with his fifth Formula 4 win of the season after a superb passing manoeuvre on fierce rival Raoul Hyman.
In the deciding race, Hyman got the jump and went into the lead. Russell knew he needed to produce something spectacular to wrestle back the lead, so he went for a “do-or-die” manoeuvre.
He said: “The starts have been bad for us this weekend. I had a very bad headwind into the first corner and I was under attack from Sennan Fielding, and Raoul had the momentum and went around the outside of both of us.
“So I ended the first lap in second place, but I was catching up Raoul. Into Agostini he went defensive, so I switched to the outside to try to get a run on the exit.
“He was squeezing me towards the grass, but I knew that this was a championship-winning move and if I didn’t try it I’d never win the title. It was a do-or-die manoeuvre – it looked spectacular from the outside!”
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Russell’s win gave him the title by three points from Maini, with Hyman and Sennan Fielding also close at hand.
As well as winning £25,000, he gets a prize test for the Formula 1 Grand Prix-supporting GP3 Series at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix circuit at the end of November with Arden Motorsport.
He also wins the Jack Cavill Cup and £1,000 for the most pole positions in 2014.
Next for Russell is the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, where he tests Formula 2, DTM Mercedes and McLaren MP4-12C GT3 machinery at Silverstone, before he begins a testing programme with an eye on stepping up full-time to the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2015.
Russell said: “After winning the Eurocup race at Jerez and then the F4 title I’ve had a fantastic last few days.
“Next up is the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award so I’ve just to give it my best shot and you never know what will happen.”