Russell would make things "difficult" for Hamilton at Mercedes

Max Verstappen believes George Russell would make things “very difficult” for Lewis Hamilton if he were to become the seven-time Formula 1 world champion’s Mercedes teammate next year.

Russell would make things "difficult" for Hamilton at Mercedes

Mercedes is expected to make an announcement in the near future revealing who will partner Hamilton at the team next year, having spent the past few months deciding between Russell and Hamilton's current teammate, Valtteri Bottas.

Russell is widely expected to get the seat, having been part of Mercedes' junior programme since 2017 and starred during his time with Williams in F1 since debuting in 2019, as well as impressing in a one-off appearance for Mercedes in last year's Sakhir Grand Prix after Hamilton was sidelined by COVID-19.

Hamilton's former teammate Nico Rosberg, the 2016 F1 world champion, told Motorsport.com on Wednesday that he thought things could get "more heated" at Mercedes if Russell were to become Hamilton's teammate, posing a greater challenge than Bottas currently does.

Asked by Motorsport.com for his thoughts on how the potential move would change the team dynamic at Mercedes, Verstappen said he thought Spa runner-up Russell would "make it very difficult for Lewis".

"He jumped into the car in Bahrain, and basically he was already from lap one making it very difficult for Valtteri," Verstappen said.

"So you can only imagine the more experience you gain in that car, and the more you get accustomed within the team, naturally you're going to be becoming faster.

"When you do your first race, you are guided by the team about set-up direction, because you just don't know what to do really, initially, with the car. Even though of course F1 cars look pretty similar, the way of setting them up can be very different.

"So yeah, for sure, I'm very confident. Already what you could see, the performance he did in Spa was really good. Of course they set up the car a bit more for wet conditions, but nevertheless, to do that in a Williams was very impressive.

"I do expect him to do very well if he gets that seat."

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Verstappen currently finds himself in a close battle with Hamilton for the F1 drivers' championship, sitting just three points behind after his half points victory at Spa last weekend.

The Red Bull driver will enter his home grand prix at Zandvoort this weekend looking to move back to the top of the standings for the first time since before the Hungarian Grand Prix.

It will be the first Dutch Grand Prix since 1985 after significant redevelopment of Zandvoort paved the way for the track's return to the calendar, capitalising on the fervent support for Verstappen.

"They've done an incredible job setting this all up, first of all hosting a grand prix, but also now how you look at the whole complex as a whole," said Verstappen.

"It looks very cool, and I hope we can have a good fun weekend.

"Of course you want good results, but I think that we can enjoy ourselves on Saturday once the fuel comes out and we can see how fast we can go around this track."

shares
comments
Alonso: Personal and Alpine progress key to F1 future beyond 2022
Previous article

Alonso: Personal and Alpine progress key to F1 future beyond 2022

Next article

Raikkonen: ‘No plans’ beyond family after retiring from F1

Raikkonen: ‘No plans’ beyond family after retiring from F1
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021