George Russell ‘wrong’ on beating Max Verstappen if he joins Red Bull over Mercedes

F1: Hamilton v Verstappen in numbers

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George Russell is ‘wrong’ in assuming he will beat Max Verstappen if he joins Red Bull over Mercedes, according to a former Bridgestone engineer. Kees van de Grint responded to rumours suggesting Red Bull are interested in acquiring George Russell from Williams.

“I think Russell is the type of person who thinks – wrongly in my opinion – that he can handle Verstappen,” he said at the Dutch program RTL GP Slipstream.

Former pit reporter Allard Kalf added: “He also thinks he can handle Hamilton.”

Van de Grint added: “That he can handle Hamilton in what will be his final days I can imagine”, before reiterating: “But I don’t think he can handle Verstappen.”

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Russell has impressed in his short F1 career so far, but Kees thinks the Brit would be biting off more than he can chew should he expect to beat the current world championship leader.

However, while Van de Grint believes Russell is very talented and Red Bull should consider bridging him, he would still keep the Red Bull team as it is, with Verstappen alongside Sergio Perez.

He continued: “In their position I would also look at the guy. ​​At the moment, no. Let me put it this way: Russell hasn’t scored a point yet, and their second driver Sergio Pérez has already won a race, when he needed to. No, I would keep the team as it is.”

The F1 circuit is gearing to head to Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.

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Lewis Hamilton will be brimming with confidence after winning the British Grand Prix for a record eighth time last week, his first win since the Spanish GP in May. 

The seven-time world champ now sits just eight points behind Max, who collided with Hamilton on the first lap of the Silverstone GP and crashed into a barrier, ending his race and putting a huge dent in his title aspirations as a result.

Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin believes the team would be ‘naive’ to think they have the advantage heading to Budapest after Lewis Hamilton took victory at Silverstone.

“[Silverstone] is one of our best tracks, so it would be naive for us to think we can go [to Hungary] and expect to carry this performance in,” said Shovlin.

“Red Bull are going to be good at a high-downforce circuit,” he added. “Frankly, they’re good at every circuit at the moment and they’re going to be a bit bruised after the experience [in the British Grand Prix], so I’m sure they’re going to come back really strong.

“But we’re about halfway through the championship, there are very fine margins in terms of the points, and for us, we’re just going to throw everything at it now to try and get through it.”

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