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Ralf Schumacher

Schumacher wagers Russell's Mercedes future could be 'in danger'

Ralf Schumacher feels that George Russell's days at Mercedes could be numbered if Max Verstappen opts to leave Red Bull.

Ralf
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Former F1 driver and now pundit Ralf Schumacher believes George Russell's Mercedes tenure could be in trouble if Max Verstappen leaves Red Bull.

The ex-Jordan, Williams and Toyota driver believes that with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff a known admirer of the Dutchman, it could spell trouble for the man who will lead the Brackley-based team's line-up in 2025.

With Mercedes protégé Andrea Kimi Antonelli looking increasingly likely to step up from F2 next season - and already considered the future of the team - if Verstappen does become available, Schumacher reckons Mercedes would move quickly to partner the two.

"If Max Verstappen really decides to leave Red Bull, I can imagine that there will be a seat for him at Mercedes," the 48-year-old told Sky Sports Germany.

"Then it could be rather bad for George Russell. He is or was a super talent, but he also makes a lot of mistakes. If a world champion is on the market, I can imagine that George Russell's job could also be in danger."

Having touched upon mistakes, an area he considers a weakness for Russell, Schumacher feels that had Verstappen been in the Mercedes in Montreal, he would have taken victory.

Russell was quick to acknowledge his errors at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where he finished in third-place. However, Schumacher argues the eight-time constructors' winners will need a world champion moving forward, with Lewis Hamilton departing for Ferrari at the end of the year.

"Mercedes would have won the race in Canada with Max Verstappen - that's a clear case. Max is the driver who makes the big difference," he said.

"Mercedes has had a long dry spell and urgently needs a world champion to get back to the front. 

"Verstappen is also a guy who comes across as very conservative, pleasant and sporty. Accordingly, I could imagine that Toto Wolff and Mercedes would do a lot with him and would do a lot for him."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix - Qualifying