Max Verstappen and George Russell selected in dream F1 driver line-up

Sam Cooper
VERSTAPPEN Max (ned), Red Bull Racing RB18, portrait RUSSELL George (gbr), Mercedes AMG F1 Team W13, portrait during the Formula 1 Pirelli Grand Premio de Espana 2022, 6th round of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship, on the Circuit de Barcelona-C

2J9D7WC VERSTAPPEN Max (ned), Red Bull Racing RB18, portrait RUSSELL George (gbr), Mercedes AMG F1 Team W13, portrait during the Formula 1 Pirelli Grand Premio de Espana 2022, 6th round of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship, on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, from May 20 to 22, 2022 in Montmelo, Spain - Photo DPPI

Max Verstappen and George Russell have been selected in a dream line-up by former F1 driver Marc Surer.

At 24 years of age, both drivers have a very promising career ahead of them. Verstappen is already a World Champion having earned 28 wins so far and is well on his way to making it two world titles in two years.

Russell has impressed since joining Mercedes and while a first win has eluded him, you suspect it will not be long until he achieves it.

Formula 1 seems to be entering a new age and not just in terms of the regulations brought in at the start of the 2022 season. While the likes of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are still performing, 2022 has seen a shift towards the next generation of drivers including Verstappen, Russell, Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris.

With all four drivers mentioned still at an early stage in their career, there is every reason to suspect they could go on to dominate the sport for the next decade – and their potential has grabbed the attention of someone who knows a thing about racing in F1.

Marc Surer competed in 82 races during a career that dates from 1979 through to 1986 and was asked on the Beyond the Grid podcast whom he would select as his drivers if he owned his own F1 team.

“You have to say Max Verstappen,” the 70-year-old said. “I think at the moment he is the fastest driver in the field. In the past he made sometimes mistakes, now he’s nearly perfect.”

Surer was then asked if he believed Verstappen’s title win in 2021 had made him a better driver and the Swiss was firmly in agreement.

“Yes, yes, definitely. Because I think the pressure is gone. He just knows how to do it,” he said.

The former Arrows man then selected Russell as a perfect team-mate for the Dutchman.

“I think George Russell is the second driver I will choose,” he said. “I’m between Norris and Russell, but I think Norris improved every year [while] Russell impressed already in his first year when he was driving the Williams.

“He had this extra, now he can prove it. [He is] unlucky the Mercedes is not winning. Don’t forget he is tall and more heavy than other drivers. I think he drives with a little disadvantage and still, he is fantastic.”

Given the two drivers’ current allegiances, it is unlikely this combination would ever become a reality but Surer was asked why he chose those two over the likes of Leclerc and Hamilton.

“When you employ a Max Verstappen you want a young driver next to him and not an old driver,” he explained. “I always find this combination quite boring if you have two established drivers and for me, Leclerc is already an established driver. He has won races before and so I will take a young one to give pressure to Max.”

Surer has also provided his opinion on Leclerc’s current team Ferrari, stating he would  fire “all of the strategy people” following repeated blunders.