Russell Ready To Challenge Verstappen As He Predicts His Next Career Move

Saturday, 01 June 2024 at 14:00
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During one of his most recent interviews, George Russell discussed a potential team-up with Max Verstappen and shared his opinion on the 26-year-old next career move.
Although the Flying Dutchman keeps saying he is happy with Red Bull and that it would be amazing to finish his career with the team from Milton Keynes, rumors about his potential exit resurface almost every week.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff might be fueling some of these as he still says, "Anything is possible" whenever he is asked if the triple World Champion could join his team next year.
If that happened, George Russell's status as "the future of Mercedes" might be threatened. However, the 26-year-old Mercedes driver told the Daily Mail he isn't afraid of a challenge.

"I wouldn't shy away from jumping alongside Max, nor would I shy away from him jumping in with us."

"I had the biggest challenge of joining Mercedes against the greatest driver of all time statistically, in qualifying and in the race, and I performed against him, and that's all I can do."

Russell beat his seven-time World Champion teammate right in the first season (2022) they raced each other. He lost in the second one (2023), but this year (the third season together), Russell has regained the upper hand in the first eight race weekends.
The 26-year-old is currently beating Lewis Hamilton in the head-to-head comparison 6-2 in the Grand Prix results and 7-1 in the qualifying results.
As to what he expects from Verstappen, Russell said he wouldn't be surprised if the Dutchman took a year off after 2025 to see which team has the fastest car in the new regulations and then return.

"Max can take a year off for 2026 and see which the best team is. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he did that. Remember, 2026 is a lottery. So, you truly don't know what will transpire. 

"I am a loyal guy and Mercedes have given me the opportunity, but I want to be a world champion. That's not us at the moment. But a year ago McLaren were the slowest team and now they are the quickest."