Russell and Latifi test Mercedes at Algarve circuit

2017 F1 season

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George Russell and Nicholas Latifi tested for Mercedes at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal last weekend.

The pair drove a 2015-specification Mercedes W06. Mercedes confirmed the purpose of the test was to evaluate the two young drivers.

Russell, 19, joined Mercedes’ young driver programme in February. He will race for ART in the GP3 championship which begins at the Circuit de Catalunya next month.

Latifi will start his second full season in Formula Two (previously GP2) this year. The 21-year-old was Renault’s test driver last season but has since left the team.

Teams are permitted to conduct Testing of Previous Cars under the Sporting Regulations providing they use a car which complies with the 2013, 2014 or 2015 rules. The cars must be “built to the specification of the period and only tyres manufactured specifically for this purpose may be used”.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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10 comments on “Russell and Latifi test Mercedes at Algarve circuit”

  1. Latifi testing for Mercedes? He’s heading into his fourth F2/GP2 season and his best championship finish is 16th.

    1. @lolzerbob In fairness he’s only done one full season, and just nine races across the other two years.

      But I agree there’s nothing about him which screams ‘major talent’ so his presence is a bit of a curiosity.

      1. Something about him does scream ‘major market for Mercedes and Petronas’

        1. He’s also from a very, very wealthy family

  2. Well, if one think was revealed last year by NicoRosberg retirement… Mercedes young driver program is seriusly lacking..

    When Vettel left RBR, they had 3 able drivers ready.

    When NR left… They had to poach a Williams driver. They should have 3-5 young aces of Max Verstappen talent ready to pick up a race seat.

    1. That assumes that there are 3-5 Max Verstappens out there.

      Let’s not forget that (a) Max is a fairly unique talent and (b) Mercedes did try to get Max into their programme but lost out to Red Bull because Red Bull could offer Max an F1 race seat (through STR) quicker than Mercedes could.

  3. I’d still vastly prefer Felix Rosenqvist as their young driver. While he’s no longer “young” in that sense, he is a far more accomplished driver and clearly able to adapt his driving to many various racing series. DTM, Formula E, Indy Lights. Raw talent.

  4. AFC, António Felix da Costa. The guy.


  5. Latifi? Really Mercedes? Best team in F1 and that’s who you bring?

  6. This article just points out how much the lack of testing for young drivers has negatively affected F1. Just think about it: Vettel, Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso, etc. came up in era of *unlimited* testing. Yes, I realize that it was eliminated to reduce costs but they went too far. IMO. F1 should introduce widely expanded testing for drivers that have not raced in F1 and increased testing in current cars for rookie F1 drivers. They could keep costs reasonable and greatly improve on the skill and talent of young talent, which will increase the quality of racing in F1.

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