Russell finishes 5th in Bahrain FIA Formula 2 Feature Race
ART Grand Prix driver George Russell took a solid 5th position in the opening round of the 2018 FIA F2 Championship
Russell was the class of the GP3 Series field, claiming the 2017 Championship title with two races to spare, in his maiden season with ART Grand Prix.
After taking four victories, a further seven podiums and four pole positions on his way to winning the 2017 GP3 Championship, the decision was made to remain with ART as the FIA Formula 2 Championship embarks into a new era for 2018 - where a new car and engine will debut at the season opening round at Bahrain, on the 6-8 April.
The new for 2018, Dallara F2/18 features a new aerodynamic appearance to resemble that of the latest Formula 1 Cars - powered by a 3.4l Turbocharged V6 Engine that will create over 630bhp.
Additionally the new cars will be fitted with the same mandatory "halo'" safety device as will be seen in the Formula 1 World Championship. This season will also be the first championship where Russell will have to experience a mandatory pit stop during a race, once again replicating the scenarios used in F1.
ART Grand Prix have had great success in the FIA Formula 2 Championship - formerly known as the GP2 Series, where a large crop of current F1 drivers and recent World Champions have enjoyed success in winning the feeder series to Formula 1.
These drivers include Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg and most recently, Stoffel Vandoorne in 2015.
2018 will see the FIA F2 Championship feature a 12-round expanded calendar, that begins in Bahrain and finishes once again in Abu Dhabi.
The season follows the Formula 1 World Championship across the main European leg of the season - as well as circuits that will be new to Russell, such as Sakhir (Bahrain), Baku (Azerbaijan), Sochi (Russia) and the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix.
Russell will be partnering with RenaultSport F1 Junior Driver and last season's main GP3 Series rival Jack Aitken.
George Russell “I’m extremely pleased to be moving up into the FIA Formula 2 Championship, continuing to race for ART Grand Prix.
We had an extremely successful season together last year, so it made complete sense to continue working and looking for even more success together.
With the introduction of the new FIA Formula 2 car, it is going to make it very difficult for all of the teams to optimise the setup early - but I have all the confidence that here at ART, we can hit the ground running.
I’m really looking forward to the first race, competing against the best teams and drivers in the pinnacle of junior motorsport”
Sébastien Philippe "ART Grand Prix had a very enjoyable and fruitful year with George in GP3, both sporting and personal, so it was only natural that we renewed our partnership for Formula 2, hand in hand with Mercedes-Benz, where George is one of their young drivers. ART Grand Prix’s experience together with George's talent should allow us to fight and defend our title in the entry series to Formula 1."