At the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, George Russell will become the eighth driver named George to compete in Formula One and the first since George Follmer at the 1973 U.S. Grand Prix.
Other Georges to have competed in F1 include George Abecassis, George Amick, George Connor, George Constantine, George Eaton and George Fonder. Amick and Follmer are the only Georges to have finished on the podium. Here’s a little bit more about the history of Georges in Formula One!
George I – George Connor
George Connor became the first George to partake in a Formula One event by entering the Indy 500 in 1950. He’d already entered the famous American race eleven times before it became a round of the Drivers’ Championship, finishing a best of third in 1949. He finished eighth in 1950, and would continue entering the event for the next three years, eventually ending his career with a failure to qualify for the 1953 event.
Connor sits fifth on the list for most miles of the race led without leading a lap. He raced 4,257 miles in total at the Indianapolis Speedway.
George II – George Abecassis
George Abecassis’ claim to fame of being the only British driver named George to start a Formula One race will come to an end in 2019. Abecassis, from Surrey, competed in the Swiss Grand Prix in 1951 and 1952. He retired from the race on both occasions.
George III – George Fonder
George Fonder was another one of F1’s Georges who only competed in the Indy 500. He competed in the race four times, three while it was a part of the Drivers’ Championship. He never finished the race higher than fifteenth. In 1954, Fonder drove as a relief driver for two different teams. He’d failed to qualify in his own car, so instead lent his services to the Kurtis Kraft and Schroeder teams. Fonder raced fourteen laps in the Kurtis Kraft car and 58 in the Schroeder car. Neither car completed the full 200 lap race distance, though the former finished only seven laps down.
George IV – George Amick
The last of the Georges to compete only in the Indy 500, George Amick won three races in his Indy Car career. After failing to qualify for the 1957 event, he finished as runner-up in the 1958 race having led eighteen laps. That was his only F1 start, giving him a 100% podium rate – one of only two drivers to have such a record.
The only other driver to have a 100% podium record in Formula One is Dorino Serafini, who finished as runner-up on his only Grand Prix appearance for Ferrari at the 1950 Italian Grand Prix.
George V – George Constantine
George Constantine was a successful racer in national races organised by the Sports Car Club of America. His success led to him being entered into the 1959 United States Grand Prix. After qualifying fifteenth, Constantine retired after just three laps with overheating issues. It was the only time Formula One raced at the Sebring International Raceway, as well as the only Grand Prix appearance for Constantine, who went back to achieve more national success.
George VI – George Eaton
George Eaton started eleven Formula One races over the 1969, 1970 and 1971 seasons. His first finish came at the 1970 French Grand Prix, a race in which he came home in twelfth place for BRM. The Canadian failed to score a point over the course of his F1 career, finishing a best of tenth at the 1970 Canadian Grand Prix.
George VII – George Follmer
American George Follmer contested in the 1973 F1 season with the Shadow team. After scoring a point on his debut, Follmer finished on the podium in only his second race with a third place finish at the Spanish Grand Prix. That would be his last appearance in the points in Formula One as he exited the sport at the end of the season, having finished thirteenth in the championship.
Follmer and Eaton are the only Georges to have competed in Formula One who are still alive today.
George VIII – George Russell
George Russell will end a 44-year drought of Georges in Formula One when he lines up on the grid for Williams at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix. Along with Lando Norris, he’ll be one of two British drivers making their debuts next season. It’s the first time two Brits have made their Grand Prix debut in the same season since Allan McNish and Anthony Davidson did so in 2002, as well as the first time two British drivers have made their F1 débuts at the same race since Jim Crawford and Brian Henton at the 1975 British Grand Prix.
This list of Georges does not include Georges Berger, Georges Grignard, Giorgio Bassi, Giorgio Francia, Giorgio Pantano or Giorgio Scarlatti, nor does it include Elmer George.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.