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George Russell

Russell plays down resurgent McLaren threat

McLaren's sudden upturn in form prompted some to suggest they might now be the second-fastest team behind Red Bull.

Russell Belgium
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes' George Russell has said he is confident his team can see off the recent threat from McLaren and secure second place in the Constructors' Championship.

After a troubled start to the year, a series of mid-season upgrades transformed the competitiveness of McLaren's MCL60 challenger, allowing Lando Norris to secure back-to-back second place finishes at the British and Hungarian Grands Prix.

However, McLaren slipped back in competitiveness at the most recent race in Belgium, with Norris finishing only seventh and teammate Oscar Piastri retiring on Lap 1 after contact with Carlos Sainz.

Speaking after the Belgian Grand Prix, Russell intimated that McLaren's good form would not last for the rest of the season, and expressed confidence that Mercedes would establish themselves as 2023's second-best team after Red Bull.

"I think [McLaren] just had a really good run of form. It's often how it goes in this sport," Russell told media, including RacingNews365.

"When you're on the right foot, things are a little bit easier. You're not stressing; the car's in the right place when you put it on the ground.

"I'm sure we're going to be strong in the second half of the season, and we've got some little things coming in after the break.

"But I'm confident we can secure [being the] second-best team and try to close that gap [to Red Bull] further."

F1 2023 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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