Former F1 driver David Coulthard has lavished praise at new Mercedes recruit George Russell, but has also ushered in a word of caution for the youngster.
Russell was brought in at the start of the season to replace Valtteri Bottas after 5 years at the team.
Russell has put in a good account of himself till now, bagging two top-5 finishes in consecutive weeks following the start of the 2022 season.
He was almost a second faster than Hamilton during Q1 in Saudi Arabia, an event that Hamilton was forced to retire from.
Coulthard spoke about what Russell brings to Mercedes.
“I’ve been super-impressed. For me, he’s a brilliant all-round package,” he said.
“He has speed, he has excellent communication skills; he’s a modern version of a top professional racing driver.
“I thought that before the season started and I’ve seen nothing since to change my mind.”
Coulthard issues Russell warning
Coulthard, though, warned Russell about any potential complacency seeping in. He said that his true caliber can only be judged after he has there is a bigger sample size. That will only come with time and consistent performances.
“The honeymoon period where you can do no wrong changes quickly, particularly when there’s an expectation that – given the car you are driving – you should be in the top three,” he said.
Mercedes has struggled so far this season and will hope that its engineers can provide a much needed update that will allow the team to push for top honours.
Coulthard believes Hamilton and Russell can play a big part in this by being “the voice” to fix the chassis and floor problems that have given the team so much grief.