Russell says Red Bull is sandbagging to avoid FIA rule changes

Russell believes Red Bull intentionally underperforms to prevent new regulations.

During the longest uninterrupted sprint at the Australian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen built up a nine-second advantage, but unfortunately, George Russell suspects that Max was not paying attention to Red Bull’s superior pace. He claims the reason for his suspicion is that he knows Red Bull is covering it up so that the FIA does not step in and do something to devalue its advantage.

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Actually, Max himself admitted that he did not need to go out of his way during the restart battles with the Mercedes teammates at the Albert Park Circuit. George Russell went on to say that, after all, Max knew that Russell and his team had the fastest car, so losing one or two points was not the end of the world for Russell and his team. It is just a small shrug of their shoulders. However, while George’s challenge was affected by the timing of the race’s first three red flags, Max made some progress towards Lewis Hamilton’s work once the DRS was available after the initial start.

He built up an advantage of nine seconds over the seven-time world champion as he looked to be moving at high speed to Red Bull’s third race win of the season; there was nothing that could slow or block him, and he immediately almost regained the second he had lost.

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And all this, believes Russell, was achieved without putting too much effort into his RB19, given that he did not even need to, and Red Bull does not want him to. In an interview with the BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast, he pointed out that he’s sure that the team is holding back. He went on to sarcastically elucidate that he thinks that the team is almost embarrassed to show their full potential because the faster they get, the more the sport is going to try to hold them back. In his words, he said, “I think realistically they probably have a seven-tenths advantage over the rest of the field.” "I don’t know what the pace difference looks like at the moment, but Max has no reason to be pushing it, and neither has Red Bull." They’ve done a really great job of being fair to them. "We can’t take that away, and we clearly have to up our game.” He is clearly concerned about the team’s efforts and wants to complement their efforts with his actions.

Max confirmed the win at the red flag-interrupted Grand Prix, but Red Bull failed to acquire the 1-2 for the first time this season as Sergio Perez, starting from the pit lane after his qualifying crash and subsequent new parts, could only recover to P5. Red Bull Motorsport advisor Marko Hemult says that’s a sign that Red Bull’s rivals have begun to close the gap. It is clear how close it is when a little thing doesn’t work out because the team is always known to have a superiority that only exists when everything is running smoothly. Max went on to point out that their rivals, Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Mercedes, have made gains against them.

Although they have made gains, Red Bull has almost doubled the points of their nearest rival in the constructors’ championship with 123 on the board after three interesting races. Aston Martin is second with 65 points, Mercedes is nine behind them, and Max continues to lead the Driver’s Standings with 69 points, 15 ahead of Perez, who is nine ahead of Fernando Alonso.

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