Martin Brundle’s shock George Russell prediction

George Russell has been outperformed by his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in 2023.

Ex-Formula 1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle believes George Russell is “capable of winning” Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix, 12 months on from his maiden F1 victory.

At the 2022 Brazilian GP, Russell led an unexpected Mercedes 1-2 to secure his first win at the pinnacle of motorsport.

The Briton is clearly a fan of Interlagos, although he didn’t quite have the pace to challenge for the lead in Saturday’s sprint race.

Starting from fourth, Russell got ahead of both Sergio Perez and Lando Norris on the opening lap, promoting him into second.

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He ultimately didn’t have the pace to maintain the position though, as he tumbled back to fourth by the end of the sprint.

Surprisingly, tyre degradation was a real problem for Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton having fallen from fifth to seventh in the closing laps.

Based on the sprint, it seems that the Silver Arrows aren’t a contender for victory on Sunday, which goes against Brundle’s prediction ahead of the weekend.

When discussing Russell, Brundle admitted that the 25-year-old hadn’t been as strong in 2023 as he had been in 2022 but that he was still a contender this weekend.

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“He’s not had as good a season as last year, but he’s just as capable of winning this race as he did last year,” Brundle told Sky Sports.

2023 certainly hasn’t been as strong a season for Russell, who is set to finish comfortably behind Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship.

Ahead of Sunday’s race, Hamilton sits 66 points ahead of Russell, meaning the King’s Lynn-born driver is unlikely to end the campaign ahead of the seven-time World Champion for a second consecutive season.

Russell stunned the paddock in his maiden Mercedes campaign by ending the year in front of the 38-year-old, although Brundle believes this hasn’t been possible this season due to Hamilton “getting back on form”.

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Brundle also thinks Russell has made too many mistakes this season, most recently at the Singapore Grand Prix where he crashed on the final lap whilst challenging Norris for second.

“He’s showing a lot of talent,” Brundle continued. “I think it’s more about Lewis [Hamilton] getting back on form.

“George has had a few unfortunate incidents. I think there are times when he’s been in a good position in a race and he’s been reluctant to pit or change strategy, and its cost him dearly.”