(L to R): Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Max Verstappen, Red Bull; Monza, 2022

Russell: ‘You’d be stupid to bet against Verstappen winning’ despite Leclerc’s pole

2022 Italian Grand Prix

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George Russell firmly expects Max Verstappen to win the Italian Grand Prix, despite the Red Bull driver taking a five-place grid penalty.

Having qualified sixth, Russell will move up to the front row of the grid alongside pole-winner Charles Leclerc due to other drivers’ penalties. However he expects Verstappen, who is due to start seventh, will make his way through the field to take a fifth consecutive victory.

“You’d be pretty stupid to bet against it wouldn’t you?” said Russell. “He just needs to keep his nose clean in the first two laps and he’ll cruise to victory.

“We’ll be trying to finish ahead of Charles, that’ll be an exciting race, but today they qualified 1.4 seconds ahead so, perhaps it won’t be quite like Spa.”

Russell believes the key to the best possible result for him will be trying to do the quickest race possible and avoid the temptation to make strategic moves to keep other rivals behind. He believes that compromised their performances in the Dutch and Hungarian grands prix, where he suspects better results were available.

“The goal is definitely to win races, but I think having looked at the last race, having looked at Budapest, when we’ve sort of compromised our race to cover off a faster car it has ended up compromising the overall result,” he said.

“So perhaps we need to take a slightly different approach and just do the best race possible for ourselves and perhaps that’ll pay dividends later on. Realistically, we should be on the podium tomorrow, but I’d love to think we can fight the Ferrari.”

Having qualified over a second off the pace again today, Russell admitted Mercedes still don’t fully understand the W13’s variations in performance.

“We’ve got the best engineers in the business working day and night to try to understand why our performance is fluctuating so much,” he said. “We’re 15 races in and we still don’t have a good grasp as to why that is.

“Today’s a little bit disappointing. We are in no-man’s land on a Saturday in terms of performance because we’re obviously so far behind from the front two and a little bit ahead of the midfield. At least we’re in a fast race car.”

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2022 Italian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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8 comments on “Russell: ‘You’d be stupid to bet against Verstappen winning’ despite Leclerc’s pole”

  1. Guess I’m stupid then. No way Verstappen beats Leclerc tomorrow. He’s too far back, Monza is a dangerous track for the midfield and overtaking is marginal. Nah.

    1. A safetycar changes things and then you’ve also got the potential of a trademark Ferrari/Leclerc mistake….

    2. With Ferrari’s form in race execution, it would be hard to bet on them actually taking that win home @hahostolze. Where is Verstappen starting actually? This site confirmed p7, while on F1TV they were thinking he would start 4th, that would make it quite reasonable to expect him to win actually.

      1. He’s starting 7th but indeed I wouldn’t count him out, I’d say leclerc has good chances of winning a regular race, but verstappen should be up there to challenge him sooner or later.

  2. Of course. Ferrari’s strategists and management are so incompetent that they will win Verstappen the race like they have almost the whole season.

  3. with solid team work from Ferrari, Max could win the race

  4. And nothing special. A year ago, I decided to close a small inro center and went online. In addition, there are already many specialized companies, such as the sports betting platform in Malta, which develop and combine almost all popular online services into one on pur page here.

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