George Russell turned down Force India F1 FP1 drive to focus on F2

George Russell's chances of gaining more Formula 1 experience this season are uncertain after turning down a Racing Point Force India practice drive at Monza to focus on Formula 2

George Russell turned down Force India F1 FP1 drive to focus on F2

Russell has tested for Mercedes and Force India this season and was due to make his first Friday practice outing of the year with the latter ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.

But Russell is locked in a fierce F2 championship fight with McLaren's 2019 F1 signing Lando Norris and is unlikely to take part in a grand prix weekend until that is resolved.

"I was meant to be driving in FP1 for Racing Point Force India [at Monza]," Russell told Autosport.

"In this tense title battle at the moment, we preferred to put more focus on F2 really.

"We did FP1 with Force India in Abu Dhabi last year [while Russell's GP3 title was undecided] and still put it on [GP3] pole afterwards, [so] I don't think it would have affected me too much.

"You can get so caught up in the F1 dream that you forget what your priorities are. Formula 2 is my priority.

"I don't know if we'll do another FP1 later in the season or not, but nevertheless I think Mercedes have my best interests at heart.

"I have full confidence they are doing everything in their means to secure my future in F1."

There are two more F2 rounds this season, in support of the Russian and Abu Dhabi GPs, with Russell leading Norris by 22 points.

Russell, who is also Mercedes' reserve driver, will not have F2 duties on the five other remaining F1 weekends in Singapore, Japan, the United States, Mexico and Brazil.

He said he did not know for certain if he would do a Friday practice later in this season but his argument for not pursuing his chance at Monza and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff's own comments suggests it is unlikely.

"That was his call actually," said Wolff. "He thought doing FP1 once in an F1 car was quite a distraction.

"I think it is a sensible call not to be too distracted from the limelight of F1 and would rather concentrate on the current job and this is F2."

Russell's F1 prospects for next season appear to have dimmed as a result of Force India's collapse and revival as a new entry and the driver changes that has sparked.

Lance Stroll will move to Force India from Williams as his father Lawrence led the consortium behind the 'new' team, with Sergio Perez expected to remain onboard as his team-mate.

That means Russell's fellow Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon will be ousted, and finding him a seat to stay in F1 will effectively take priority over Russell being promoted.

Russell's best shot appears to be with Williams, but there is mounting speculation that his F2 rival Artem Markelov could head there as part of an all-Russian line-up alongside Sergey Sirotkin.

shares
comments
Red Bull wouldn't consider Ocon due to Mercedes link - Horner
Previous article

Red Bull wouldn't consider Ocon due to Mercedes link - Horner

Next article

How Formula 1's top teams tackled Monza tech headaches

How Formula 1's top teams tackled Monza tech headaches
The combination behind the Silverstone racing battles Hamilton called "F1 at its best" Plus

The combination behind the Silverstone racing battles Hamilton called "F1 at its best"

OPINION: The late battling in the British Grand Prix wowed Formula 1 fans and surely represents the best racing action of the season so far. And there was a cocktail of factors that created the action, from which Carlos Sainz emerged as a popular new winner

How Ferrari’s Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine Plus

How Ferrari’s Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine

OPINION: Ferrari won the British Grand Prix with Carlos Sainz, but it ultimately cost Charles Leclerc a chance to make a bigger dent in Max Verstappen's title lead by leaving the Monegasque out on old tyres towards the end. Like Monaco, indecision over strategy proved to be the Scuderia's biggest issue - and if the team doesn't reflect, the headache can only intensify

Formula 1
Jul 5, 2022
The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost Plus

The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost

Formula 1 has a newest race winner, in a grand prix the victor appeared to have lost twice, only to charge back to headline a sensational and dramatic British Grand Prix. From a massive start crash to a late sprint finish, here’s how five factors saw Carlos Sainz take his maiden grand prix win

Formula 1
Jul 4, 2022
Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga Plus

Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga

The appearance of a revised Aston Martin in Spain caused controversy but PAT SYMONDS explains why the FIA investigation found the Silverstone team had no case to answer

Formula 1
Jul 3, 2022
Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Plus

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 2, 2022
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Formula 1
Jul 1, 2022
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022