Tydd St Giles racer Russell dominates at Formula Renault Eurocup and sets his sights on BRDC Formula 4 decider
- Credit: Archant
Tydd St Giles racer George Russell demonstrated his burgeoning talent with a stunning clean sweep in the Formula Renault Eurocup at Jerez yesterday.
Up against the cream of motorsport’s young up-and-coming talents, including McLaren Formula 1 junior driver and Eurocup champion Nyck de Vries, Russell claimed pole position, secured fastest lap and led the race from start to finish to clinch to clinch an emphatic win.
The 16-year-old had a one-off outing in the more prestigious Eurocup at the Spanish circuit with French team Tech 1 Racing.
Russell had never driven a car run by Tech 1 until the free practice sessions on Friday.
He said: “Eurocup is higher up than ALPS so it was a really good feeling to take my first pole and first win in Formula Renault.
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“It was a really good lap to get pole, especially among people who have been in Eurocup all season.
“There was still a little bit of time left in there, but I did two laps good enough for pole and set the new Formula Renault lap record for Jerez.
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“I got a good start and Nyck got in behind me. I got my head down and set fastest lap on lap two, and managed to open up a lead of 1.5 to 2.0 seconds in four laps.
“I really had it under control, but then the safety car came out so I wasn’t too happy. On the restart Nyck got a run into Turn 1 and I had to get defensive, so I closed the door and forced him to the outside.
“I then pushed as hard as I could through the next really fast corner and pulled out a half-second gap straight away. I was pushing every lap, and I managed to pull away each lap to win by just over 1.5 seconds.”
Boosted by that win, Russell now sets his sights on the final round of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship, where he will bid to win the title on home ground at Snetterton.
Russell is 21 points behind championship leader Arjun Maini, who also drives for Lanan Racing.
He led the championship up until the last race weekend at Donington Park where he was taken out by title rival Raoul Hyman.
Russell said: “It was a disappointing incident which was no fault of our own. With the points system in this championship a DNF is very costly.
“But I’m still confident we can get a good result. We’ll just have to see how things go.”