Russell makes damning allegations against Red Bull

Russell makes damning allegations against Red Bull

Red Bull cars are undoubtedly in a class of their own when it comes to performance, and that seems unlikely to change without action from the FIA to change the Formula 1 regulations.

George Russell thinks Red Bull may be withholding their actual race speed on purpose to evade FIA intervention.

In all opening races of the 2023 Formula 1 season, Red Bull is without a doubt the fastest team on the grid. If Sergio Perez’s qualifying incident in Australia hadn’t occurred, the Milton Keynes-based team might have finished first and second in all three races.

Even though race winner Max Verstappen once again had clearly better race performance in Melbourne, he was only able to maintain a nine-second lead over the next closest competitor during the race’s longest run.

Russell believes there was another factor at work in addition to the number of crashes, safety cars, and red flags. The Britishman thinks Red Bull may have been intentionally sandbagging in an effort to prevent the FIA from intervening.

Then again, when one team is blatantly dominating the world championship, the governing body hasn’t been afraid to step in. Red Bull’s current competitive edge over its competitors may be significantly reduced if the FIA cracks down on some of the design features that made the RB19 so quick.

“For sure they’re holding back,” Russell said in an interview with BBC Chequered Flag podcast. “I think they are almost embarrassed to show their full potential because the faster they seem, the more that the sport is going to try to hold them back somehow.”

“I think realistically they probably have 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 got no reason to be pushing it, nor has Red Bull.”

“They’ve done a really great job to be fair to them. We can’t take that away, and we clearly have to up our game.”

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko claims that the margin between rival teams has already begun to narrow. He cited evidence to back that claim in the fact that Perez was only able to finish in fifth position.

“You can see how close it is when a little thing doesn’t work out because we’re always said to have a superiority that only exists when everything is running smoothly,” he said.

“Our rivals Aston Martin, Ferrari and Mercedes have made gains.”

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