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By George, King’s Lynn’s Russell to make Formula 1 practice debut

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Lynn’s George Russell will make his Formula 1 practice debut at the Brazilian Grand Prix for Force India.

Russell, who won this year’s GP3 championship, will compete in today’s first session as a replacement for Sergio Perez. The 19-year-old will also drive in the opening practice session before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix later this month.

Russell said: “It has been a year full of great opportunities and to top off the season with this is fantastic.

“I’ve never driven the VJM10 before or driven at Interlagos, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”

The teenager (pictured) joined Mercedes’ young driver programme at the start of the year and drove in the Hungary in-season test in August. Russell, a former BRDC F4 champion, is enjoying a meteoric rise in motorsport.

Yesterday he took to Twitter to say: “Absolutely pumped to be driving FP1 for @ForceIndiaF1 at the #BrazilGP and #AbuDhabiGP.”

On his Hungary experience earlier this year, Russell said: “I had been looking forward to this day for so long. It’s every young driver’s dream to drive a Formula 1 car.

“As soon as I got on track, I straightaway understood how much grip and downforce this car has got – it is amazing.”

The newly-crowned GP3 champion has his sights firmly set on a full-time seat in 2019.

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