Sahara Force India announced on Tuesday that George Russell will make his Formula One practice debut with the Silverstone based outfit in the opening session on Friday ahead of Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix at the Interlagos circuit.

The 19 year old will drive Sergio Perez’s VJM10. In Abu Dhabi, for the final Friday practice session of the season, Russell will drive Esteban Ocon’s VJM10.

Speaking about the announcement, the newly crowned GP3 Champion commented by saying:

I’m extremely excited to be driving in free practice for Sahara Force India in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. 2017 has already been a year full of great opportunities and to top off the season with these two outings feels fantastic. I’ve never driven the VJM10 before or driven at Interlagos, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge. I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Sahara Force India for this opportunity and also thank Mercedesfor their continued support.

Sahara Force India Team Principal and Managing Director Vijay Mallya commented by saying:

We are happy to give George this opportunity. He’s an up-and-coming talent and we’ve followed his success in GP3 closely. George has already been in our simulator several times and has worked well with the team. Now that we have secured fourth place in the championship, it’s the ideal time to look to the future and handing George his free practice debut will allow us to evaluate his potential.

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