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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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George Russell promises to challenge Lewis Hamilton in an F1 race and makes a daring prediction




George Russell knows his form has slipped – but still thinks he can beat any of his Formula 1 rivals on his day.



The Brit is one of F1’s rising stars and is considered a future world champion by many in the paddock. He only bolstered that reputation with a superb debut season with Mercedes, despite the team’s struggles for competitiveness.





Neither he nor Lewis Hamilton were in the title fight and instead were simply maximising what they could get out of their temperamental cars. Russell was the most successful on that front, out-scoring the seven-time world champion by 35 points.




He also beat Hamilton to the team’s only victory of the season, at the Brazilian Grand Prix. However, in their second season together, it is the more experienced of the two Mercedes racers who has the upper hand.

The Silver Arrows are still off the pace compared to runaway leaders Red Bull. But they have looked more competitive since redesigning their aerodynamic package for the update which was introduced in Monaco.





Hamilton has three podiums from the last four races and sits fourth in the standings on 121 points, chasing down his old rival Fernando Alonso ahead of him. In contrast, Russell has struggled to produce his best form of late and is 39 points adrift of Hamilton, with Carlos Sainz between them in the drivers’ standings.





Russell recognises that he has not been at his best, but remains clearly very confident in his own ability. “I think sometimes it’s important not to overthink things – just go back to basics and work on the processes with the team,” he told reporters in the Silverstone paddock after the British Grand Prix.





“What I need as a driver is to maximise my performance and what I’m looking for from the car and just not to overthink things. I know that when I tick all of those boxes, I can beat anybody on this grid and I think it’s important that you do tick those boxes.”





His desire to match and better Hamilton’s results clear, Russell added: “We [drivers] often fall into a trap of wanting to do more work on finer details and work even harder. Sometimes you overcomplicate things and it’s counterproductive. So it’s striking that right balance because I’m always striving for more.”




While Russell readily admits he has gone off the boil himself, he has not been helped by his team’s development direction. Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin admitted ahead of the Silverstone race that the front wing upgrade introduced that weekend was created with Hamilton’s driving style in mind.





“There are some items we brought here to try to adapt the car a bit more towards Lewis’ style, but he’s very pragmatic,” he said. “He’s taking a long-term view on this and he’s very focused on what is it I need to look at to test to try and find the improvements.”





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