With the battle championship battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton being very close, George Russell, a candidate for Mercedes’ 2022 seat, was asked if he was backing any driver to emerge as the 2021 champion.
“No,” the young Briton said.
“Lewis is an amazing driver and one of the cleanest racers in our sport. He deserves all the respect and credit, but I also wish Verstappen the title.
“His first half of the season is convincing. Max could have won all the races if things had gone differently. He deserves this success.
“Max has been performing at an ultra-high level for so long and always had a car that was just not good enough.
“That’s the annoying thing about Formula 1 today. You saw it last season – in a Mercedes I drive at the front and a week later I’m at the rear with Williams.
“And it’s not because I’ve lost my touch.”
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Russell went on to say that he believes only the drivers who drive for Mercedes and Red Bull can seriously challenge for the championship.
“Of course I miss the champagne. Since I was eight, it’s only been about one thing in my life – victories, take pole and win.
“I’ve done everything I can to make it to Formula 1 and that dream has come true, but victories are impossible at the moment.
“Only four drivers can now win on their own in Formula 1: Hamilton, Verstappen, [Valtteri] Bottas and [Sergio] Perez.
“If you’re not in a Mercedes or Red Bull you have no chance, even if you’re the best driver. In my current car I finish around 10th place after a flawless, top race.
“Nevertheless, I’m happy and proud. It’s a privilege to be one of the 20 drivers in this sport,” concluded Russell.