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Russell's stark admission over Verstappen threat in Saudi GP

Despite Max Verstappen qualifying in P15, George Russell has a blunt admission over the Dutchman's chances in the Saudi Grand Prix.

George Russell has admitted that he expects Max Verstappen to progress "pretty comfortably" in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after his Formula 1 qualifying failure. Verstappen suffered a driveshaft failure in Q2 in Jeddah, leaving him 15th on the grid on a weekend where he had lead every practice session and topped Q1 by nearly 0.5s over teammate Sergio Perez. In the end, Perez took pole ahead of Charles Leclerc, Fernando Alonso and Russell - although the latter two will shuffle forward one spot after Leclerc's 10 place grid drop is applied for new engine parts. When asked about what Verstappen could do - Russell was bleak in his prediction.

Russell's Verstappen admission

"Red Bull are just doing an excellent job, the gap to the rest of the field is bigger than we've seen in anyone for six, seven, eight years, so it is pretty impressive," he told media, including RacingNews365 , in Jeddah. "I think Max is going to come pretty comfortably unless there are any incidents or holdups." Also speaking to Sky Sports F1 on the threat of the Red Bull, Russell pointed back towards the Belgian Grand Prix in 2022, where Verstappen started 15th - and was leading outright by Lap 18 - although Verstappen himself was not so sure when asked about the prospect. "I'm sure we will do our best, but when you've got a car that quick, you can kind of do whatever you want," he said. "You saw what Max did last year when he started 15th in Spa, and he's got a faster race car this year. We just need to focus on ourselves." When asked by the media, Russell was optimistic of a podium finish - having out-qualified teammate Lewis Hamilton. "We can definitely fight for a podium, it seems closer with Aston Martin and Ferrari, who maybe have a tenth or two on us, but we're starting ahead of them, so there's no reason why we can't fight for a podium."

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