IN WORDS: Securing GP3 Championship Feels Fantastic – George

IN WORDS: Securing GP3 Championship Feels Fantastic – George

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Junior Driver George Russell claimed the GP3 Series title in style at Jerez, with an entire round of the 2017 Championship season still to run.

'It feels fantastic'

Despite it being his inaugural season in the GP3 Series, four race wins, two further podium finishes and impressive consistency throughout the year have swept the 19-year-old Brit to Drivers' Championship glory at the first time of asking.

Second place in the weekend's first race at Jerez meant George needed to outscore his closest rival (ART Grand Prix team-mate Jack Aitken) by just three points in the second race to take the crown.

He did just that, finishing fourth - crucially two spots ahead of Aitken - to wrap up this year's title battle with two races to spare.

"It feels fantastic," he said, when asked how it feels to be GP3 Champion. "Firstly, I would like to give a massive thank you to everybody at ART Grand Prix: they have been absolutely incredible with all four of us [drivers].

"And then secondly, I would like to thank Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. They put their faith in me at the start of the year, and they have developed me into a better driver to get me into this position today."

'They've helped me a lot'

After securing the Championship, George revealed just how much of an impact being part of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Junior Driver programme has had on his season.

"I think Mercedes has played a big part (in this year's success)," he explained. "Being part of their team and spending time in the debriefs with Lewis (Hamilton) and Valtteri (Bottas), just seeing how they analyse the data and feed back to the team. From that side that really helped me.

"Also I've done four days of F1 testing this season, two in the 2015 car and two in the 2017 car. I've picked up a lot about how to use the Pirelli tyres and how to look after the temperatures. As we all know, tyre management is quite crucial in GP3, Formula 2 and Formula 1. So they've helped me a lot..."

With the final round of the 2017 GP3 Series in Abu Dhabi a good few weeks away yet, George has plenty of time to let that winning feeling settle in before taking to the track at the Yas Marina Circuit for what will surely be a spectacular sign-off to an impressive season.

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