Russell 'Really Good', But Not Number One Driver Currently According To Van Der Garde

Monday, 29 April 2024 at 18:00
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Giedo van der Garde (former F1 driver) shared his opinion on the Mercedes driver George Russell, suggesting he is "underestimated."
Discussions about future World Champions are pretty common in the F1 community. We often hear names like Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, or Oscar Piastri.
George Russell's name also gets thrown into the mix sometimes, but perhaps not as often as it should. The 25-year-old driver is driving for Mercedes in the third season now, and in general, he has been able to match the pace of the seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.
He beat his experienced teammate during their first season together. Then he lost in the head-to-head comparison in 2023. But this year, Russell has been much quicker and more consistent than his teammate during the first five race weekends.
In fact, he beat the number 44 driver on all but one occasion and got out-qualified twice in six sessions (including sprint qualifying and race). Van der Garde told De DRS Show:

"I think George Russell is underestimated. I think George Russell is a really good driver and he really shows next to [Lewis] Hamilton and especially over the past two years that he comes very close and even can go ahead of him [Hamilton]."

Interestingly, while the former F1 driver suggested the 25-year-old Briton is underestimated, he said he still isn't a number one driver.

"No, in the future he will become number one or Max Verstappen will arrive and then he’s number two again."

The threat of Verstappen joining Mercedes is becoming more and more real. The triple World Champion recently said he is happy to continue with Red Bull if everything stays as it is.
However, speculations about Adrain Newey's potential exit emerged at the end of last week, and if the legendary chief technical officer left the team, it could be a massive blow for Red Bull.
The 26-year-old might then also want to reconsider his options, and he knows Mercedes's team principal, Toto Wolff, would welcome him with open arms.