George Russell reveals why he picked number 63

George Russell has had a difficult season at Mercedes this year, after outscoring Lewis Hamilton in 2022.

George Russell has revealed why he chose to race with the number 63, with the Mercedes driver having shared the ties it has to his family.

Since joining the Formula 1 paddock in 2019, Russell has competed with the No. 63, which he’s revealed used to be used by his brother in karting.

The 25-year-old also revealed that the number has been in his family since then, making him want to use it himself.

“Well I am number 63 because that was the number my brother used to race with when he was in go karting,” he told Mercedes’ official YouTube channel.

READ: Why Helmut Marko believes Alpine’s F1 team should be sold

“When he started, that was the number that was assigned to him and has been a family number ever since. So, [it’s] in the family!”

Deciding what number to choose when you enter the F1 paddock is a critical affair, given that you can’t then change it again.

The only person who can swap numbers is whoever becomes the World Champion, as they can run the No. 1 whilst they are the defending title holder.

As a result, reigning World Champion Max Verstappen is currently using No. 1 instead of his traditional No. 33.

Article continues below

Unless something dramatic happens, Verstappen will be using the No. 1 again next season, as he currently leads the Drivers’ Championship by a huge 125 points over Sergio Perez.

Russell currently languishes down in sixth following a miserable first half of 2023, which has seen him collect just one podium.

This is three less than team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who sits two places and 49 points ahead of Russell.

Russell has so far failed to replicate his 2022 success, which saw him collect Mercedes’ only pole position and victory.

Whilst Mercedes are yet to win a race this season, Hamilton has claimed the Silver Arrows a pole, at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

READ: Management company terminates contract with driver for refusing to honour McLaren contract

Coincidentally, this is where Russell claimed pole for the team last season.

The King’s Lynn-born driver has seemingly struggled for confidence in the W14, even since the outfit introduced their new concept.

Russell is therefore in need of a strong end to the year.