George Russell does not stare blindly at Verstappen camp: ‘Five teams capable of something special’

“With the new rules, Ferrari and McLaren, for example, will also participate. They have the infrastructure, the talent and the drivers to fight for the win. I think five teams will be able to do something very special next season,” said the 23-year-old Briton, who has been promoted from Williams to Mercedes. “Developing the car will be the key to success in 2022. It’s not about who has the fastest car at the first race, but who understands the car best and manages to develop their car throughout the year. I think all these teams are going to make tremendous progress between the first and last race of the year.”

Russell has made such an impression on the Williams rearguard team in recent years that Mercedes has recruited him as a replacement for Valtteri Bottas. Russell will form the Mercedes driver duo with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who missed the individual title after an insane denouement in Abu Dhabi last season. Verstappen trumped Hamilton on the last lap and became world champion. The Briton is still so angry about the whole course of events that he has hardly been heard from since the race in Abu Dhabi. Also Friday, on Hamilton’s 37th birthday, his social media remained silent.

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