‘How can you say that?’ Jenson Button laughs off George Russell claim

George Russell has been blown away by Red Bull’s start to the 2023 season.

Having won both championship titles in 2022 by quite some margin, Red Bull were expected to be the team to beat once again this season.

No one could have predicted quite how strong the energy drink giants have started 2023 compared to their rivals however, having finished over 50 seconds ahead of Mercedes at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Red Bull even told both of their drivers to slow down towards the end of the race to manage an issue and still secured a one-two by a considerable margin.

George Russell finished the race in P7 and was very impressed by Red Bull’s dominance, suggesting that the team could easily win all 23 races this season.

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“Red Bull have got this championship sewn up – I don’t think anybody is going to be fighting with them this year. I expect them to, or they should, win every single race this season,” he said.

2009 F1 champion Jenson Button has now laughed off this claim, suggesting that it is way too early to make such a prediction.

“I know that a lot of drivers have said, ‘It’s going to an easy championship for Red Bull and Max [Verstappen]’, but how can you say that? We’ve only tested at one track. We’ve only raced at one track,” said Button.

“And we all know that Bahrain is very unique in the way that cars work there. It’s a heavy braking, traction circuit. It’s not so much about high-speed. So we can’t say that. I think we’ll understand a bit more after Saudi, which is more of a fast-flowing track. And also when we get the European races.

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“So no, it’s not a walk in the part for Red Bull and Max. It’s a great start to the season and very different to what they had last year. But I still think we’re going to have some very, very close fights.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a straightforward win for Red Bull and Max. But I loved the first race. I thought it was action-packed and that’s what I look for. I look for great racing, and great fights.”

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While it may not come down to how good Red Bull are this season, the title could come down to how much their rivals struggle.

Reliability issues have already forced Charles Leclerc to retire from one race whilst Mercedes look completely off the pace already this year with their concept.

Should Verstappen be able to win a third successive championship this year, he will be well on his way to being considered one of the best drivers of all time at the age of 25.