For the next few weeks, as we await the return of racing, Motorsport Week will delve into the archives to search out the first time that our grid of 2020 F1 racers stepped into top-level machinery in a public forum.
Williams’ George Russell is entering his second season in Formula 1 and since his title-winning GP3 campaign he has been associated with Mercedes.
His role and success in that championship, allied to the manufacturer’s need for a young driver, meant Russell was called up to test Mercedes’ W08 mid-2017.
He had already previously driven its 2015 car during a private test at Portimao in Portugal.
Russell completed both days in the car at a sweltering Hungaroring and by the end of the year he had made his grand prix weekend debut, jumping in the Mercedes-powered Force India in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
He also tested for Force India the following campaign prior to Lawrence Stroll’s mid-season buyout of the team.
Russell was drafted in for Mercedes again in 2018 and 2019 – after he had made his debut for Williams – and remains on the manufacturer’s books for the future.