Max Verstappen takes aim at rival Lewis Hamilton as he claims the star’s life will be ‘very difficult’ when George Russell starts driving for Mercedes next year… with Brit unhappy about losing ‘conforming’ team-mate Valtteri Bottas in 2022
- Verstappen says George Russell’s Mercedes move is ‘very difficult’ for Hamilton
- The seven-time world champion is not happy with the imminent arrival of Russell
- And Verstappen has shared his vision of what Russell’s move means for Mercedes
- Russell impressed during short stint at Mercedes and takes on Hamilton
Max Verstappen has claimed George Russell’s expected arrival at Mercedes will be ‘very difficult’ for Lewis Hamilton after it emerged the Formula 1 star is unhappy with his compatriot’s impending move.
Russell, 23, has impressed for Williams this season, taking 13 points in his last two races, including a P2 finish in the controversial two-lap race in Spa, Belgium.
In addition, Russell has been labeled ‘Mr Saturday’ by experts for consistently outperforming in an inferior car during qualifying.
Max Verstappen (R) predicts that the life of Lewis Hamilton (L) will be ‘very difficult’ next season
Sportsmail understands Williams star George Russell is about to make a Mercedes move
Kimi Raikkonen’s departure from Alfa Romeo at the end of the season has led to a shift in the F1 grid, with Mercedes chief Toto Wolff understanding he wants to replace Valtteri Bottas with Russell, while the Finn will replace Raikkonen.
Sports post understands that Hamilton is not happy with Mercedes chief Toto Wolff’s decision, however, as the Finn is a more ‘compliant’ teammate.
And now Hamilton’s world championship rival, Verstappen, has weighed in on the sport’s biggest talking point, saying Russell will make the seven-time world champion’s life ‘very difficult’.
Hamilton (L) however unhappy with Toto Wolff (R) for removing ‘compliant’ Valtteri Bottas
And Verstappen (C) has backed Russell (L) to thrive at Mercedes, in one blow to Hamilton (R)
“If he participates, he will certainly make it very difficult for Lewis,” the Red Bull star said ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix via The race.
“I mean, he jumped in the car in Bahrain and was actually from the first lap, which made it very difficult for Valtteri, so you can only imagine the more experience you get in that car and the more you get within the team. get used to it, of course you will get faster.
“When you drive your first race, the team guides you in the direction of the set-up because at first you just don’t know what to do with the car.
“I remember my first race at Red Bull, the thing I said was ‘we’ll just kind of follow what Daniel’ [Ricciardo] does because I have no idea what this car needs to go fast’ because while F1 cars are obviously quite similar, the way they are set up can be very different.
Three points separate Hamilton (202.5) and Verstappen (199.5) in the drivers’ standings
‘So I’m very confident’ [in Russell]. You could tell the performance he did in Spa was really good.
“Of course they tuned the car a bit more for wet conditions, but it was still very impressive to do that in a Williams. I do expect that he will do very well when he gets that seat.’
Russell’s expected move to Mercedes would make the Briton a new F1 youngster to represent a big team on the grid. Lando Norris, 21, is the key man at McLaren, Verstappen, 23, is Red Bull’s No. 1 driver, while Ferrari has gone all-in with Charles Leclerc, 23.
Hamilton currently holds a three-point lead over his Red Bull rival heading into this weekend’s race in the Netherlands, with fans and pundits torn over who will emerge victorious in this exciting title race.