Mercedes driver George Russell views life through a somewhat rose-colored lens than his teammate Lewis Hamilton, as he believes there is a chance that Mercedes can still close the gap with Red Bull.
Lewis Hamilton already stated during the race weekend in Zandvoort that he has little hope that Red Bull can be beaten for the rule change in 2026. George Russell, for his part, still believes in it and says that the past has shown that it is possible to outwit a dominant team.
“If you look at the turnaround Aston Martin made last winter, the turnaround that McLaren made, it certainly gives us optimism that it can happen,” Russell told the assembled media in Zandvoort.
“It is clear that Red Bull continues to improve. It will certainly be difficult. But we also saw Red Bull overtake Mercedes in the ‘Mercedes era’, in 2021, and that was unforeseen. 2020 was also a really dominant year for Mercedes, but in 2021 Red Bull started with the fastest car.”
Russell regrets that dominant Red Bull is dwarfing the exciting battle raging behind them.
“You can’t blame Red Bull, they’re obviously doing a great job and you have to give them that.
“But it’s a shame because the battle for second place between us, McLaren, Aston Martin and Ferrari is really exciting at the moment. So I don’t know how you achieve that in sport, but that’s definitely the goal.”
Red Bull’s overtaking maneuver on Mercedes cost blood, sweat and tears at the time and George Russell is confident that Mercedes can do the same in the future.
“We will go for that, but we are not going to set high expectations for next year,” he said. “We’re just taking it race by race and making sure we have all the right information to make the best possible decisions between now and next year’s test in Bahrain.”