Russell Verstappen Team Challenge

Russell Eager to Face Verstappen in Same F1 Team


George Russell openly expresses his readiness to challenge Max Verstappen as teammates, amidst the latter’s ongoing Red Bull controversies.

George Russell would welcome the chance to go up against Max Verstappen in the same team.

The three-time world champion is committed to Red Bull until 2028. However, a clear disagreement has emerged between Verstappen’s camp and the team principal, Christian Horner, regarding the team’s handling of an investigation into his behavior.

Verstappen’s father, Jos, has stated that the team’s integrity would be compromised if Horner did not leave. FIA team head, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, has urged Verstappen to publicly back Horner, which he did not do in Bahrain.

This has led to speculation that Verstappen might seek an early release from his contract. As Mercedes F1 looks for a replacement for Lewis Hamilton next year, the reigning champion would be an obvious target, and discussions have already taken place in Sakhir, both in the paddock and at the hotel.

Asked to comment today in Jeddah on this rather crazy situation, Russell stated he would understand if his team sought to hire Verstappen.

“I think any team wants to have the best driver duo possible and, right now, Max is the best driver on the grid.”

“So, if a team had the chance to recruit Max, they would grab it 100%. I think the question is more on the other side, his side and Red Bull’s side, obviously, there’s so much going on there, we really don’t know what’s happening behind closed doors and ultimately it’s none of our business at the moment. But it would be exciting.”

Russell added that his performance alongside Hamilton shows he could compete with Verstappen.

“This is my third season alongside Lewis, the greatest driver of all time, and I feel like I’ve done a very good job alongside him.”

“So, no matter who lines up beside me next year or in the years to come, I welcome anyone, I embrace the challenge. You want to compete against the best.”

“But ultimately, for me, I’m just focusing on myself. I believe in myself. I believe I can beat anyone on the grid. You just have to have that mentality. And having had Lewis as a benchmark these past few years, it’s definitely a very good thing.”

Mercedes F1 Showcased Significant Potential in Bahrain

George Russell remains optimistic about Mercedes F1’s prospects for the upcoming Saudi Arabian Grand Prix following their performance in Bahrain last week. The British driver believes a podium finish was within reach had it not been for cooling issues.

“I think the conclusions we drew were that the car has potential,” Russell explained. “When we looked at the pace during FP2, it was evident, Lewis and I were first and second.”

“However, during the race, we encountered significant cooling problems that caught us off guard. We know it’s at least a 15-second loss just for the battery and power alone. Probably more when you consider its effect on the tires.”

“And just a few more seconds in the first stint, with Checo behind me, would have been very helpful. So, I believe we could have fought for second place, for the podium, with Checo and Carlos, but it’s certain we didn’t show our true potential.”

A Simple “Miscalculation”?

Russell isn’t concerned about the origin of these issues and anticipates their resolution come Jeddah: “I believe it’s a miscalculation. It would have been relatively simple to slightly open up the bodywork to ease things.”

“But we don’t know how we ended up in this situation because we haven’t changed anything since testing, and it caught us off guard on Saturday. I’m sure it will be better this weekend.”

The W15 has a few other design flaws, but nothing that worries the driver: “I think all teams manage the bumps quite well now, and we can probably expose the limit or avoid it altogether. But with ground effect cars, you want the car to be as low and as stiff as possible, which involves compromises.”

“So, the feeling is very similar to what we’ve experienced in the last couple of years, but to a much lesser extent. But as I said, I think all teams will encounter old rebound points throughout the year.”

Russell Verstappen Team Challenge. Russell Verstappen Team Challenge.


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