Verstappen Ready for New Rival in Championship Fight

Despite a challenging season and finishing 59 points behind teammate Lewis Hamilton, British Formula 1 driver George Russell remains confident in his ability to compete for the championship, provided his car is competitive, and denies any tension with Hamilton.


‣ George Russell had a challenging season in 2023, making it to the podium only twice compared to eight times in 2022.
‣ Despite finishing 59 points behind teammate Lewis Hamilton, Russell believes there is no tension between them.
‣ Russell is confident that he is ready for a championship battle if his car allows it.
‣ He believes that Mercedes can make a more competitive car and avoid the mistakes made in the previous season.

George Russell had a rough go of it this season. Despite landing on the podium eight times in 2022, including a top spot, he only managed to do so twice in 2023.

Still, the former Williams driver is optimistic. He told ESPN that he’s ready to fight for the championship.

There’s been talk of tension between Russell and his teammate, Lewis Hamilton. This season, Russell ended up a staggering 59 points behind Hamilton. The year before, he’d actually finished above Hamilton in the championship.

Things really went south in Qatar this season. Russell and Hamilton collided at Turn 1, forcing the seven-time world champion to bow out of the race.

But Russell insists there’s no bad blood. “Lewis and I are at very different stages of our career,” he said. He’s focused on qualifying ahead and making a good start. He’s not worried about racing his teammate, but rather, doing his best in the race.

Russell believes he’s ready to vie for the championship. The Mercedes isn’t the top car anymore after the rulebook changes. Red Bull Racing is now dominating the championships, with everyone else watching the Austrian team claim victory after victory.

But Russell is confident. If his car is up to it, he believes he can compete for the championship. “I know personally I will be ready,” he said. “I’m confident on a personal level that whatever is thrown at me I will be ready to tackle it.”

He’s aware, though, that he needs a good car. “I’m definitely confident we are going to make a car that is much more competitive than this year,” he said. He admitted they made some mistakes over the winter, but he’s confident they won’t repeat them. “It’s down to our rivals what they achieve, but Austin was a step in the right direction and if anybody can achieve that change in performance Mercedes can.”

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Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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