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George Russellgives mercedesbelieve that Max verstappen will be able to “comfortably” win the Belgian GP formula 1 this Sunday (28), despite starting from 15th on the grid. The Dutchman dominated the qualifying session at Spa, setting a time more than six tenths faster than the second-placed rider, Carlos Sainz. However, he gives up the pole to the rider from Ferrari due to an engine-related grid penalty.
As Verstappen edged out the other five opponents who were relegated to the back of the grid for exceeding the power unit limit, the swap damage is limited to ‘only’ 15th place, ahead of the Scuderia’s second car of Charles Leclerc.
Historically, riders starting from this position tend to lose around 10 seconds on the first two laps until DRS is available. However, with a clean start, Max can reduce his deficit to Sainz and his teammate. Red bull, Sergio Perezin front of the platoon.
With competitors impressed by the Austrian team’s dominant form in the first race weekend after the August break, Russell believes Verstappen will be able to “cut” the field and even win the race.
“I think Max will win the race, and probably comfortably,” said the Briton, after qualifying 2.1 seconds off the Dutchman. “I think he and Red Bull are a couple of kilometers ahead of everyone else. I don’t really know about Charles, to be honest.”
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
When asked about the possibility of winning in front of the tens of thousands of Dutch fans who flocked to Spa, Verstappen replied: “A podium has to be the bare minimum with such a good car. It would be a shame not to be there.”
For Russell, however, the possibilities of moving up the grid will be much more limited at Mercedes. He explained that Brackley’s team failed to get their tires in the right window. Due to penalties for Verstappen, Leclerc and Esteban ocongives alpineRussell will start fifth and fears he and Lewis Hamiltonfourth, end up in “no man’s land”.
“I suppose we should be ahead of Fernando [Alonso, que começará em terceiro] and we will probably end up in a ‘no man’s land’, behind the top four and ahead of everyone else,” he said.
“Clearly we didn’t get it right today. That’s a little uncharacteristic, but it’s still a little painful when you were on pole in the last race. [GP da Hungria].”
The Belgium race is scheduled for next Sunday, starting at 10:00 GMT. THE band will broadcast the test on open TV and the motorsport.com will bring all the repercussions on the portal, in addition to real-time coverage and live analysis on YouTube.
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