George Russell claims 10 drivers could win in Max Verstappen’s Red Bull

Michelle Foster
George Russell in the Mercedes garage. Austria July 2023.

Mercedes driver George Russell speaks to his engineer in the garage. Austria July 2023.

George Russell believes there are “10 drivers” Red Bull could put in the car who’d fight for wins but ponders whether it would become boring given there’s “not much competition”.

This year’s championship has seen Red Bull, and more to the point Max Verstappen stake their claim as the ones to beat with the Dutchman cruising toward a third successive Drivers’ Championship title.

As the records line up for him to break; most successive wins, most points scored, and earliest championship victory to name a few, there is a battle for second place not only in the Drivers’ standings but in the Constructors’.

George Russell ponders whether Max Verstappen is missing having competition

Today the position belongs to Mercedes who are 51 points ahead of Aston Martin, who in turn are five ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors’ standings.

But in a season in which momentum, and the tag of ‘Red Bull’s nearest challenger’, has swung between those three teams and now also McLaren, Russell says while wins may not be forthcoming for anyone but Red Bull, retaining P2 is “motivation” for Mercedes.

“I think it is exciting now we are in this fight for second position, so that gives motivation,” he said as per “I have motivation because I am teammates with Lewis [Hamilton] and it’s a challenge every single weekend.

“We have had a good battle the last 18 months and that motivates both of us.

“If you’re in a position where there is not really a lot to fight for, that’s when you start to lose motivation – you need those challenges to seek those rewards.”

So much so that he wonders if Verstappen is missing having competition.

The Dutchman has 10 wins from 12 races this season, eight in a row from Miami to Belgium, and the majority of those he’s won by double figures ahead of the nearest non-Red Bull driver, sometimes even by 30s or more. recommends

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“Even for Max now,” Russell continued, “for sure he is loving it but that feeling of crossing the line for the 50th time winning with not much competition in the last 18 months and the last 20 victories he has had… maybe the last 10 victories he has had haven’t been fought for, they have been pretty straightforward for him.

“Even if he starts P10, P15, it doesn’t matter.

“I am sure he would love to have a victory where he made the last little difference, that is what you all chase, that is when it’s the most exciting.”

It has Russell proclaiming that there are “10 drivers” on today’s grid who could win in the Red Bull such is its superiority over the chasing pack.

“There’s 10 drivers you put in a Red Bull and they fight for the victory and the championship, in the same way as a Mercedes for the last years… there are 10 drivers you could put in who will be fighting for victory,” he added.

This weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix will see Verstappen chasing his ninth win on the trot, which would equal Sebastian Vettel’s record for the most successive wins, while Red Bull are seeking their 13th of the season as they continue their whitewash.

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