Russell takes Verstappen into account: 'You saw what Max did at Spa'

Russell takes Verstappen into account: 'You saw what Max did at Spa'

18 March - 19:08

George Russell drove the fourth fastest time in qualifying for the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix and despite knowing that is still not good enough for Mercedes, the Briton is hugely satisfied. He starts third thanks to Charles Leclerc's grid penalty and that is actually the maximum.

"I would've taken that [before qualifying]," Russell refers to his third starting spot on Sky Sports. "I'm really happy. It's really fun to drive around this track, and the car felt good. We knew that we were lacking overall downforce but it's the best that we could have hoped for."

The 25-year-old driver will start from a place that entitles him to a podium finish at the end, but it will be difficult to defend his third place. "It's going to be an interesting race. Strategies can be dictated by VSC's and safety cars, but we have a better race car than qualifying car," he remains hopeful.

Still, Russell is vigilant about the competition behind him, especially Verstappen. "You saw what Max did last year in Spa. They had a quick car then and have a quicker car now. But credit to Red Bull they have done an exceptional job, but we need to focus on ourselves and find more performance." The reigning world champion will start 15th on Sunday.

Russell aware of competition

After the race, Russell spoke about who he expects to be in a battle with tomorrow: "We have a fight on our hands tomorrow, most likely with the Aston Martins and the Ferraris. We will be pushing hard to get on the podium and see what we can do.

"This Team has higher standards and expectations for themselves than just finishing in the top three, but we will be giving everything we've got to be standing there on Sunday."

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