George Russell Crowned GP3 Series Champion in Abu Dhabi
Mercedes-AMG F1 Junior and ART GP Driver George Russell finished the final race of the season in 4th position - before being officially crowned champion in the GP3 Prize Giving in Yas Marina.
Russell started the final race of the 2017 GP3 Series from 7th on the grid - after his 2nd place finish in race one before the partially reversed grid was applied.
The 2017 Champion made a good start to draw alongside his rival Arjun Maini through turns 2-3. Maini however pushed Russell off the circuit on the outside - leading to a bumpy ridge in his ART machine, as he was launched over two large rumble-strips and dropped to 8th position behind race one winner Niko Kari.
Russell regathered himself well and latched onto the back of the drivers infront. Kari passed Maini into turn 16 just outside the Yas Viceroy hotel, with Russell almost sneaking through in the process.
DRS came available on lap 3, with Russell applying consistent pressure on the Indian driver infront. After many attempts, with Maini making some aggressive defensive moves - Russell finally made his way past on lap 10, passing Maini and Lorandi within a lap, as his rivals appeared to struggle with their tyres in the warm conditions.
Russell set his fastest lap, on his way to catching the two Arden Motorsport drivers Steijn Schothorst and Niko Kari infront. Russell applied heavy pressure to Kari, which resulted in Kari going for a late move into turn 14 on his teammate, making contact and allowed Russell to take advantage and sweep through into 4th position.
Russell maintained his position until the end of the race, finishing just 1.5s behind DAMS driver Daniel Ticktum and just missing out with rounding out his brilliant 2017 season on the podium.
George Russell " It was a shame to just miss out finishing such a great season on the podium, but you can't win them all! At the end of the day, we did the job we set out to do at the start of the season and that was to take the GP3 Series Championship.
I would like to give ART Grand Prix a huge thank you for giving me such a brilliant car all season long, they thoroughly deserved to win both titles and I am glad me and all the drivers did such a great job to seal a 1-2-3-4 in the final Driver's Championship standings!
Also a huge thank you to Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport for their support all season, they set me the task of winning the championship this year and I am very happy to achieve that for them, to go alongside their double Formula One Championships - which I am very grateful to have played a small part in turning the Mercedes-AMG W08 into the class of the 2017 field.
Lastly a big thank you to Sahara Force India Formula One Team for making me feel so welcome in the team during Brazil and Abu Dhabi FP1 sessions and giving me my opportunity to participate in two Formula One weekends at the end of the season.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me in 2017, I am very much looking forward to what the 2018 season brings!
After the racing, Russell attended the Official GP3 Series Prize Giving Ceremony at the circuit - where he and his team, ART Grand Prix were presented with their Driver's Championship and Team's Championship Prizes, to close out a fantastic season for both driver and team.
Russell will be remaining in Abu Dhabi in preparation for 2018 as he will test FIA Formula 2 machinery at the end-of-season test to evaluate his options for next season.
Announcements regarding Russell's Testing Schedule and 2018 Season Plans will be announced in due course, with the announcement to be made via his social media channels and online via this website.