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George Russell

Russell predicts imminent Red Bull 'move'

Mercedes is back in the fight but can it challenge Red Bull in Europe where it is expected to pull away again?

Russell Canada
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell believes Mercedes has made "real" gains on McLaren and Ferrari and will now be in the fight with its two F1 rivals more often - although is fully expecting Red Bull to "move" further out front when F1 returns to Europe. 

Mercedes fought both McLaren and Red Bull during the Canadian Grand Prix at the weekend when Russell stunned Verstappen to claim pole after setting an identical lap time to the Dutchman. 

Russell led in the opening stint only for a couple of small driver errors to impact his chances of victory, to the extent that he dropped to fifth at one point in the closing stages. 

The Briton recovered to finish on the podium and would have likely secured second had there been a further lap. Despite Verstappen winning, Russell had better pace than the reigning world champion. 

When F1 returns to Europe next weekend, however, the Briton expects Red Bull's usual advantage to return.

"Red Bull has had a very tough time during the last races, but still they won two of the last three," Russell told select media including RacingNews365

"So I expect them to make a move soon when we go back to Europe and the traditional circuits."

Mercedes improvement 'real'

The Canadian GP was hugely positive for Mercedes, which found itself towards the top if not at the top by the conclusion of most sessions. 

Recent upgrades, including a new front wing, appear to have given the W15 a significant performance boost, convincing Russell that fighting McLaren and Ferrari regularly is a realistic expectation. 

"I think our step in terms of performance is real," added Russell. "It allows us to fight more consistently with McLaren. 

"Hopefully we can further fuel that fight with Max and Ferrari as well, although Ferrari didn't have a good weekend right now."

Russell's late move into the podium places was completed with a spectacular overtake on team-mate Lewis Hamilton. 

The 26-year-old dived down the inside of the seven-time world champion on the run into the final two corners, an overtake he had no concerns over given the trust in battling Hamilton.

"In the last three laps I focused so much on that podium because I felt I had let the team down with my mistakes," revealed Russell. 

"As always, fighting with Lewis is very hard but fair. You know when you fight with one of the best drivers ever, you can trust that person."

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