George Russell (16) from Wisbech is the 2014 BRDC Formula 4 Champion after staging a superb fightback during a dramatic final-round showdown at Snetterton.
The car-racing rookie needed to win the final race in order to overturn the points leader’s advantage, and that’s exactly what he did with his fifth F4 win of the season after a superb passing manoeuvre on title outsider Raoul Hyman.
Straight after a sensational maiden Formula Renault Eurocup win at Jerez, Wisbech racer Russell arrived at his local track determined to finish his F4 season in style with Lanan Racing. He began the weekend living up to that, with pole position by a crushing 0.565 seconds on a damp track.
Russell managed seventh and second place to cut the points gap as four drivers went into the final race with a chance of the title.
“I had a very bad headwind into the first corner and I was under attack from Sennan Fielding [the fourth title contender], and Raoul had the momentum and went around the outside of both of us.
“Raoul 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!”
Russell’s win gave him the title by three points from Maini, with Hyman and 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 George 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.
“After winning the Eurocup race at Jerez and then the F4 title I’ve had a fantastic last few days,” he said. “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.”