November 24, 2018 / 4:19 PM / 16 days ago

Formula One-bound Russell wins Formula Two title

Formula One F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - November 22, 2018 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton with McLaren's Fernando Alonso and ART Grand Prix Formula 2 Williams driver George Russell during a press conference ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Future Williams Formula One driver George Russell won the Formula Two championship with a victory in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

The win, from pole position, was the seventh of the 20-year-old Mercedes junior’s rookie season. The Briton will make his F1 debut with Williams next season.

Russell’s only rival for the title was British-born Thai driver Alexander Albon, who had needed to win Saturday’s feature race to stay in contention but instead stalled on the grid and finished 14th.

The Thai has a contract to race in Formula E with Nissan next season but could also join Russell in Formula One, with Toro Rosso interested in his services.

“It’s been an amazing year,” said Russell. “It is a massive relief, to be honest. I think we’ve really deserved this. A lot of things haven’t gone our way this year but we’ve kept fighting; we fought through the hard times.”

Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Clare Fallon

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