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Formula 1: George Russell shoots at Red Bull

Formula 1: George Russell shoots at Red Bull

George Russell

The Mercedes star suspects Red Bull of deliberately driving slow

Red Bull is dominating the new Formula 1 season. But can the cops go faster? Mercedes teases the competitor.


Mercedes driver George Russell (left) suspects Red Bull’s world champion Max Verstappen is deliberately driving slower.

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  • Red Bull has dominated every GP so far this season.

  • Mercedes driver George Russell claims the racing team could be faster.

  • World champion Max Verstappen contradicts this.

Red Bull has clearly dominated the Formula 1 season so far: world champion Max Verstappen has won two races, teammate Sergio Perez one – only The Bulls have never won a double at the Australian Grand Prix. Competition sometimes lags far behind. It could be dismissed even more blatantly. Not just anyone says it, but Mercedes driver George Russell.

They are sure to back off. Realistically, they’re probably seven-tenths of a second a lap ahead of the rest of the field,” Russell suspects on the BBC’s Checkered Flag podcast. Verstappen was two-tenths faster than the Briton in qualifying in Melbourne. The Silver Arrows also managed to keep up the pace of the race. Mercedes feels that Red Bull is purposefully not realizing its full potential.

“They are almost embarrassed.”

But why should a dominant racing team do this? Too big a lead, the Briton says, probably means new rules: “They are almost embarrassed to show their full potential, because the faster they look, the more sport tries to prevent them in some way.” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said: “I find his thesis very generous. I think as a Mercedes driver he knows dominance.”

Verstappen also responded, the Dutchman said they didn’t want to hide anything. “We’re just trying to get the most out of the development of the car, but it’s also about managing the pace because we didn’t really know – I think no one really knows – how long a solid tire would last,” the 25-year-old explained to the BBC. Verstappen said there was no reason to try to gain half a second a lap and destroy the tires until the end. The World Cup continues with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku at the end of April (live with us) – it will be interesting to see how strong Red Bull is then.

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