George Russell to Red Bull: Stealing Mercedes man is ultimate show of dominance | F1 | Sport

Imagine for a second, you’re in charge of Red Bull.

And the team’s decision-makers are thinking about replacing Sergio Perez.

Where do you go to find a replacement? What kind of driver do you want to sit alongside reigning world champ Max Verstappen?

Do you invest in young and hungry – a threat to the established No. 1?

Or proven, steady and classy?

Word has it that principal Christian Horner has settled on Fernando Alonso – the second of these two options.

There can be no doubt that the 42-year-old ticks all of those boxes.

The two-time world champion may have won the last of his titles 18 years ago but his re-emergence at Aston Martin has answered many of the questions raised about his desire – and ability – to maintain a position near the top of the sport.

Widely regarded as one of the best out there, would the Spaniard be able to push Verstappen to new heights?

It certainly makes sense.

But what if you wanted to put the cat among the pigeons and really make a statement.

How about taking out the main man at one of your great rivals?

Is there not a case for Red Bull building on their current power-base and targeting George Russell when his deal with Mercedes ends at the end of next season?

Rumours are about that Perez has been tied up for another campaign anyway so there would be the chance to nab the Norfolk racer, who is about as hot as the county’s famous Colman’s mustard at the moment.

If you want a sporting parallel, you could look at football.

Back in the day, Manchester United plundered Newcastle United for Andy Cole.

That was Alex Ferguson flexing his muscles and doing it, well, because he could.

The Scot had sufficient power – and a team capable of landing the big pots that Cole desired.

If you want a more recent example, how about Arsenal’s £40,000,001, pursuit of Luis Suarez a few years back?

Go to a rival and upset them by snatching their prized asset. After years of dominance, Mercedes are struggling.

Team principal Toto Wolff is now questioning himself. Lewis Hamilton has seen the writing on the wall and scarpered to Ferrari.

Leaving Russell to scratch his head and wonder whether the glory days will ever return.

Red Bull are dominant and in Versteppen they have a man upon whose head the world crown sits comfortably.

Or does it sit a little too comfortably.

Perez hasn’t been able to put the Dutchman under sustained pressure.

Would Russell?

He’s young, hungry and ambitious. His arrival would certainly give Verstappen a jolt.

Alonso might be a heavily-fancied option.

But going after Russell could have far-reaching repurcussions.

It would add genuine competition in the garage for Verstappen and further unsettle Mercedes.

Given the frosty relationship that exists between the teams, it would send out a clear message that not only are Red Bull top dogs.

But also that they very much intend to stay there.

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