Formula 1 fans walk the pit lane ahead of Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina circuit on Thursday. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: George Russell, one of Great Britain’s latest F1 prospects, wants to first hoist the FIA Formula 2 Championship trophy for his ART Grand Prix team before turning his attention to the wagering demands of F1 racing, starting 2019.

Born in King’s Lynn, Norfolk in February 1998, Russell has been in commanding form this season in Formula 2 as he sits at the summit with 248 points, 37 ahead of second-placed Alexander Albon and a further 51 points away from countryman Lando Norris. He is also the reigning GP3 Series Champion and served as the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport F1 Reserve Driver throughout 2018 till his recent move along with the experienced Robert Kubica to Williams Formula 1 Team for the upcoming season.

George Russell Image Credit: AFP

“The title [F2 Championship] is yet to be won. I believe there is no real reason to change our approach. We have had a lovely season so far and everything has worked our way. So we just need to have a safe weekend and see that we claim one more title against our name,” the 20-year-old Russell said.

“Right now the priority is the Formula 2 race and we shall see what follows later.”

The Yas Marina will host the 12th and final round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship this weekend. Each stop consists of a feature race and a sprint race with varying points awarded to winners of both categories. Carlin’s Norris was off to a dream start winning the opening race in Bahrain, but Albon made his move taking the next three stops in Baku, Barcelona and Monaco.

That was when Russell entered the fray winning three back-to-back races in France, Austria and Silverstone, and then added a fourth win in Monza to all but lay his hands on a major trophy.

The 20-year-old has had his opportunities sharing paddock time with five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in his role as reserve driver for the world champions. “Seeing how Lewis [Hamilton] works behind the scenes is very engaging. But the best thing that I’ve learnt from him is his mindset, especially when he talks to the engineers at the de-briefs,” Russell said.