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Russell expects Red Bull to ‘get back to winning ways’ in Japan

Mercedes' British driver George Russell. Photo: Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP

Mercedes’s George Russell expects Red Bull to get “back to their winning ways” at this week’s Japanese Grand Prix after their bid for an unbeaten season ended in Singapore.

Runaway Formula One leader Max Verstappen finished fifth in Singapore and teammate Sergio Perez was eighth in a rare off-day for the dominant Red Bulls, who were eyeing an unprecedented undefeated season.

They can still clinch the constructors’ title in Japan, and lead Mercedes by 308 points with seven races remaining.

Russell had his own heartbreak in Singapore, crashing on the last lap as he attempted a late victory charge on fresher tyres.

The British driver expects Red Bull to come back strongly in Japan and said he believes their troubles in Singapore were “purely a one-off”.

“I expect them to be back to their winning ways, or at least to be back to the top of the field,” said Russell.

“If they’re not, that would be a lot of question marks being raised if they have another weekend like last week — but I don’t expect it.”

Russell said it had taken him “24 to 36 hours” to get over the disappointment of crashing on the final lap in Singapore, as he hunted down leaders Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.

But he said he would learn from the experience and was “not going to let a mistake of 2 cm cloud my whole weekend”.

“Throughout everybody’s career you have ups and you have downs,” Russell said.

“I’m very thankful for having some very difficult situations in the past to bounce back from — it helped me deal with these situations better.”

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