Lewis Hamilton signing for Mercedes was inevitable, according to Robert Doornbos. The former Formula 1 driver noted that the deal was special, while also claiming that George Russell never stood a chance of getting a seat at Mercedes.
The news of Hamilton signing a one-year deal at Mercedes was announced on Monday. It will give the British driver a chance of winning a record eighth Formula 1 world championship.
“It is very special that it took so long”, Doornbos told Motorsport.
Doornbos knew throughout that Hamilton would sign a new deal. He did not bother to get dragged into speculation.
“That it had to be right, you could count on your fingers, because Mercedes was obviously already well on its way to building this year’s car”, Doornbos said.
The Dutchman said that one of the major reasons that youngster George Russell was not in the reckoning was his built. Doornbos said that the car would be too tight for the rookie.
“You saw when Russell got in at Sakhir that the car was not optimal for his taller body. You then find yourself with a monocoque that is too tight and you can’t just fix that.”
Russell had to wear a smaller size pair of shoes to fit better in the car when he deputised for Hamilton at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Hamilton is about ten centimetres shorter in height than Russell. With the car already in an advanced stage and nearing completion, Russell was never an option, Doornbos said.