In awe of how Lewis Hamilton clawed back points in Brazil, George Russell insists it would be “pretty stupid” to bet against the Mercedes driver.
Having been out-scored by Max Verstappen three races in a row, the Red Bull driver’s advantage in the standings up to 19 points, this year’s championship race seemed to have swung in the Dutchman’s favour.
Added to that, Verstappen was the favourite to win the Sao Paulo Grand Prix and put a few more points between himself and Hamilton.
The Brit turned the tables on him.
Putting in arguably his “best” race weekend ever, Hamilton shot from 20th on the grid to fifth at the chequered flag in the 24-lap sprint qualifying.
He faced his second penalty of the weekend in the grand prix, starting 10th on the grid after Mercedes fitted his W12 with a new ICE.
Hamilton charged through the field and passed Verstappen in the process to take the win by 10 seconds ahead of his title rival.
Russell says that was a clear sign that one should never write off Hamilton and Mercedes.
“I’ve been saying it for a long, long time – when Max and Red Bull seem to have the upper hand, I think it would be pretty stupid to bet against Lewis and Mercedes,” the 2022 Mercedes driver told reporters in Qatar.
“I think last weekend and recent races has proven just that.
“The fact they’re still in this fight is pretty exceptional and obviously what Lewis did last week was also exceptional.”
Hands up if you can't wait to see George Russell team up with Lewis Hamilton 🙋♂️🙋♀️#QatarGP 🇶🇦 #F1 pic.twitter.com/eHn2bMTCQj
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 18, 2021
Next season Russell will be joining Hamilton at Mercedes, signed as Valtteri Bottas’ replacement.
Formula 1’s form book though, could be thrown out of the window as Formula 1 introduces all-new cars.
Aimed at levelling the playing field and improving the racing, it remains to be seen whether Mercedes can continue the form that has seen them romp to seven successive championship doubles with a potential eighth on the horizon.
Russell says no one knows what to expect.
“I think next year with this new regulation change there’s going to be so many updates and improvements, and things to work on throughout the whole season,” he said.
“I think we are all going to have to come together as a team.
“There’s no guarantee as to who has the fastest car when you hit the ground in the first t’st.
“But I think it’s whoever works best as a team who will prevail at the end of the season. I think that’s for sure we will work together to do that.”
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