George Russell answers ‘who’s the quickest’ between himself, Verstappen and Leclerc

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GEORGE RUSSELL is one of several young drivers from the same generation to have made his way into F1.

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George Russell has insisted that he, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc will do their talking on the track this season as they battle it out for the unofficial title of the quickest young driver on the grid. Russell is widely regarded as one of F1’s biggest talents and is currently ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship standings after proving his mettle since joining Mercedes at the end of last year.

Verstappen, meanwhile, is the defending champion and has gained a reputation for making hardly any mistakes and being incredibly aggressive when behind the wheel. Leclerc is also up there with the most skilled drivers in F1 but Russell stopped short of naming the outright best when asked who is quicker out of himself and his Red Bull and Ferrari rivals ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

“I think we’ll do our talking on the track, but during the karting days we all had our fair share of success,” the Mercedes man told BBC Sport.

“In 2011, there were three main championships. The European karting championship; there was a one-off race, which was the World Cup; and then there was a secondary European Championship, called the WSK Championship.

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George Russell answers 'who's the quickest' between himself, Verstappen and Leclerc

George Russell progressed through the ranks alongside Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc (Image: GETTY)

“I won the European Championship, Max won the WSK one, and Charles won the one-off World Cup race. So that was quite a fun year.”

Russell, Verstappen and Leclerc came up through the junior ranks together, just behind Alex Albon and just ahead of Lando Norris, to form part of a golden generation of drivers who have managed to get themselves into F1 in recent years. Russell went on to explain that their competitive natures and shared tendencies to push each other may have played a significant role in shaping the paths of their motorsport careers from a very young age.

“I was reading a book recently and somebody was trying to understand why, for example, there was an era where all of the top footballers in the world came from Brazil or from a certain region in Brazil,” said Russell.

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George Russell answers 'who's the quickest' between himself, Verstappen and Leclerc

All three drivers are widely considered among the very best in F1 (Image: EXPRESS)

“Or there were some female tennis players all from a certain area in Russia who were all incredibly successful. And I think sometimes these things happen in packs because everybody’s pushing one another, and if you’re not being pushed, you’re never going to further yourself.

“It’s the same as me at the moment, I’m racing against Lewis Hamilton. I’ve got such an opportunity to continue to push myself. And there are only small details, but having that opportunity week-in, week-out, I will definitely be a greater driver by the end of this year than I would have been had I not been his team-mate.

“I guess, going back to when we were racing each other in go-karting, that’s exactly the same. We were all pushing each other.”

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