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Russell: Any F1 team should "100%" try to sign Verstappen

George Russell says any Formula 1 team should “100%” take the chance to sign Max Verstappen, with the champion linked to Mercedes amid the Red Bull turmoil.

Pole man Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, George Russell, Mercedes-AMG, in the post Qualifying Press Conference

Photo by: Dom Romney / Motorsport Images

An independent investigation eventually cleared Red Bull team principal Christian Horner of any wrongdoing after a female employee made allegations against him.

However, the subsequent and supposed leak of material at the heart of the case and Jos Verstappen claiming the squad will “explode” if Horner remains has led many to believe that Red Bull faces a choice between keeping its F1 boss and star driver.

If Verstappen was to leave, with Ferrari having committed to Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton for 2025, Mercedes would be his most likely destination - Verstappen Sr met with Silver Arrows motorsport boss Toto Wolff throughout the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

PLUS: How F1's mad tea-party driver market could look if Verstappen moves to Mercedes

Russell reckons any F1 team should leap at the opportunity to sign reigning three-time champion Verstappen.

The Briton said: “I think any team wants to have the best driver line-up possible.

“Right now, Max is the best driver on the grid so if any team had a chance to sign Max, they’d 100 percent be taking it.

“I think the question is more on the other side, more on his side and Red Bull’s side.

“Obviously, so much going on there. We don’t know what truly is going on behind closed doors and ultimately, it’s none of our business right now. It will be exciting.”

Race winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Race winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Russell and Verstappen have experienced a couple of flashpoints in their competitive relationship, with the Red Bull driver calling his rival a “dickhead” after their collision on the opening lap of last season’s Azerbaijan sprint race.

But Russell is confident he can square up to whomever gets the vacant Mercedes seat, once Hamilton bids the team farewell at the end of the current campaign.

“This is my third season now alongside Lewis, the greatest driver of all time,” Russell said.

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“I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job alongside him. So, whoever were to line up alongside me next year or in the years to come, I welcome anybody, I welcome the challenge.

“You always want to go against the best. But ultimately for me, just focus on myself.

“I believe in myself; I believe I can beat anybody on the grid. You’ve just got to have that mentality.

“Having Lewis as my benchmark for the last couple of years, he’s been a pretty good benchmark.”

 

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