Why does George Russell Drive with number 63 in F1?

Published 07/09/2021, 11:54 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – Williams’ George Russell during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Formula One’s ‘Grill the Grid’ videos always get a laugh out of their viewers. A series that usually put the drivers on the spot with seemingly simple questions, with some hilarious responses. On its latest video, drivers were quizzed on their knowledge about their peers’ racing numbers. Driver number 63 caused a few “umms…” across the grid. A couple of divers scratched their heads as they forgot the number George Russell drives with.

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But what’s the story behind Russell’s number?

The Brit borrowed his brother’s number, who frequented the local indoor karting center. The fastest driver got the number 63, and his brother earned that position. As George got into karting, he took over the family number.

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Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 4, 2021 Williams’ George Russell in action during practice REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

The number sits proudly on William‘s livery and also appeared briefly on the Mercedes he drove in Sakhir last season. The number may prove to be lucky soon as there’s a strong possibility it may find a permanent place on one of the Silver Arrows.

Ocon and Vettel’s poor memory relating to George Russell

In a preview posted on F1’s Twitter, Ocon and Vettel seem extremely confused about Russell’s number. Esteban Ocon confidently deemed 69 to be the Brit’s number. He hits his head in dismay when he finds out he was wrong.

Sebastian Vettel, a mentor to the young driver, falls not far behind Ocon. “George, 93,” he claims, albeit a little confused. Upon finding out he’s wrong, his explanation is worth remembering. “I see it the other way around, my kids draw 9 the other way and 6 the other way as well,” he says coyly as he draws the numbers in the air. It’s no wonder Vettel is a fan favorite- getting confused about numbers because of his kids.

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Either way, the number 63 will be worth remembering soon enough. George Russell is speeding his way to the top of the grid, making his mark as an extremely talented driver. Will we see the number on the same blue Williams next season? It might just look better on a silver car.

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Shreya Sanjeev

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Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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