LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One world champions Mercedes have recruited British teenager George Russell as the third member of their young driver program, joining established F1 racers Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon.
Russell, 18, will compete in the GP3 feeder series this year with the ART team.
"George has shown impressive form in the junior categories and we've been keeping a close eye on him for a while now," said Mercedes F1 head Toto Wolff on Thursday. "It's still early days in his career but we see great potential in him."
"George's next challenge in GP3 will provide a good test of his credentials for the future," added the Austrian. "We have already seen with Esteban how effective this series can be as a training ground.
"And, of course, this is the Championship which propelled (Mercedes driver) Valtteri (Bottas) into Formula One, so we will follow George's progress with great interest."
Germany's Wehrlein, 22, is with Sauber this season after a debut year with Manor while France's Ocon, 20, will race for Force India.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)