WATCH: Baby-Faced Max Verstappen & George Russell on Podium During Karting Days

Published 08/21/2021, 12:52 PM EDT
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes GP prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)


George Russell and Max Verstappen are two of the most exciting drivers in Formula One right now. While the latter is fighting for the title right now, the former has put up his name for the coveted Mercedes seat next year. They are in different machinery and are known to extract the most from their cars.

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But before their time in F1, they both were winning trophies at the same time in karting. In a recent throwback picture, we can see George and Max celebrating on the podiums with their trophies together.

Young Verstappen and Russell during Karting days. from formula1

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This picture seems to have been taken during the early 2010s. Max is, of course, older than George by just 5 months. Hence, it is only natural that their junior careers are intertwined and they crossed paths with each other.

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Max is just absolutely on it: George Russell

The only time Verstappen and Russell raced together in Formula One in relatively similar cars was at Sakhir Grand Prix 2020. In the qualifying session, the British driver finished ahead of Max by the slightest of margins. But he was appreciative of his old-time rival and his qualifying lap.

“Max is just absolutely on it,” George Russell told SkySports.

Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ George Russell leads and Valtteri Bottas is second-placed after the start of the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

“Huge, huge credit to him. He deserves some more pole positions because the way he’s driving is exceptional. So he’s going to be pushing me and Valtteri [in the race]”

Verstappen returned the compliment and also sympathized with Russell’s result in the race.

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I always knew George would do a very good job: Max Verstappen

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The Red Bull driver mentioned that Russell’s performance at the Sakhir Grand Prix did not surprise him; he had no doubt that Russell would do a good job.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Second placed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

Complimenting the Briton’s racing abilities, Verstappen told SkySports, as reported by PlanetF1, “I always knew George would do a very good job because he’s a very talented driver. I’ve known that since we were kids. There is no surprise there.

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“I felt sorry for him, of course, that he didn’t win the race because he did everything right from the start, but he will win his races, anyway. I think in a few years he can laugh about that particular race, so it’s all good. It also just shows it’s a very fast car,” said Verstappen.

With Russell speculated to move to Mercedes next season, will we see him go wheel-to-wheel with Verstappen?

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Devang Chauhan

354 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sport Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been a ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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