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Max Verstappen and George Russell clash while Lewis Hamilton snubbed - Albon picks pairing

Daily Express logo Daily Express 14/08/2022 Tom Parsons
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Williams ace Alex Albon says he would partner Max Verstappen with Lando Norris if he oversaw an F1 team. The former Red Bull driver snubbed seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton as he chose his optimum pairing and was also keen to keep Verstappen and George Russell apart to avoid them clashing.

"If I didn't have to take salaries into account, I would definitely take Max," Albon said during an interview with Auto Motor Sport as the hypothetical scenario was posed to him. "He is extremely talented and brings everything with him.

"Looking to the future, I would still choose a young driver. Because of the team dynamic, the choice would fall on Lando. He gets along well with Max. Max and George - that would probably mean fireworks."

Verstappen won his maiden F1 title last year after seeing off Hamilton in a final-lap shootout at the season-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. And the Dutchman is on course to win his second championship this time around after storming to the top of the Drivers' Championship leaderboard once again.

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Max Verstappen (left) and George Russell © GETTY Max Verstappen (left) and George Russell

Norris, meanwhile, has impressed since taking a seat with McLaren in 2019 and has developed a habit for outshining his more experienced team-mates. The Briton finished sixth in the standings last season and currently occupies seventh spot this time around. And a dream partnership with Verstappen would surely reap the rewards should it ever become a reality.

Albon burst onto the F1 scene in 2019 courtesy of a string of fine performances with Toro Rosso, which earned him a mid-season promotion to Red Bull. But he struggled alongside Verstappen during his second season and was ultimately dropped by the team as he went on to spend a year racing in the DTM.

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Alex Albon © GETTY Alex Albon

Albon returned to F1 with Williams at the start of this season. And the 26-year-old admits the young drivers on the circuit are impressive. "All are on a similar level, but with different experiences," he added. "Max has most of the races under his belt. He is used to driving in a top team at the top. Charles [Leclerc] also took a step this year. Then there's George, who fights with Lewis. This is very impressive. And then there is Lando, who drives very hard."

Albon finished 17th at the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end July. And the ace will be looking to make an impression when the F1 season continues in Belgium at the end of this month.

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