George Russell gives up on F1 world title already after Bahrain GP

F1: George Russell hikes during the off-season

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George Russell was left bitterly disappointed after a seventh-place finish at today’s F1 Bahrain GP and claimed that Red Bull have already ‘sewn up’ the championship.

The Mercedes star was keen to hit the ground running after an impressive debut season with the Silver Arrows. But he endured a difficult outing in the opening race of the 2023 campaign, as he was passed by team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the early stages and lost out to a rampant Fernando Alonso, who claimed a podium finish.

Post-race the disgruntled driver seemed to concede Red Bull would storm to the championship titles again, even adding that their dominance is such that he bets the team can win “every single race this season”. Max Verstappen began the race in pole position and controlled proceedings from start to finish as he recorded his first victory at the Bahrain GP, while team-mate Segio Perez finished second.

“Red Bull have got this championship sewn up and I don’t think anybody will be fighting with them this year,” Russell said. “They should win every single race this season. With the performance they have got I don’t see anyone challenging them.

JUST IN: Lewis Hamilton disagrees with George Russell over Mercedes ambitions after Bahrain GP

“Their pace here was weaker than in testing but they have got it easy at the moment and they can do what they like. They might not take every pole – because Ferrari are competitive over one lap – but when it comes to race pace they are in a very strong position.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff watched all the action unfold and promised “radical” changes after what he described as one of his “worst days in racing”. Just one race into the year, Wolff is already planning to concede it, admitting that it “hurts” to see rivals Red Bull so far ahead.

“Really not good at all, we were just lacking pace front, right, and centre,” Wolff admitted to Sky Sports. “Red Bull is just on a different planet. That is what hurts because they are so far ahead, it reminds me of our best years because we just put a second on everybody else.

“That is the benchmark and we have to do one step after the other to come back and we can do that. We can, absolutely we can. I think it needs to be much more radical in the steps than hope for a three tenths upgrade.” Hamilton meanwhile battled to a fifth place finish and prior to the race and expressed his concern with the pace of the car.

After a hard-fought race he told Sky Sports F1 that he will request immediate upgrades to ensure that the gap to their rivals doesn’t increase. “We definitely can’t fight Ferrari at the moment,” Hamilton said. “They were much quicker than us today, as were the Astons.

“We’re the fourth fastest team. We are going backwards, we have a lot of work to do to close that gap. Unfortunately the car is not there at the moment,” Hamilton added. “We are just lacking downforce and we have got to work really hard to add that ASAP. Anything from in the wind tunnel, we need it tomorrow. We have really got to push massively to try and close that gap.”

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