Lewis Hamilton's P2 in Australia last weekend lifted some of the doom and gloom around Mercedes, but there are plenty of other reasons to be positive according to Martin Brundle.
The former F1 star and now Sky Sports F1 pundit reflected on a mixed Sunday for the Silver Arrows in Melbourne as Hamilton's team-mate George Russell was forced into a hugely frustrating DNF after it looked earlier like he may challenge for the win.
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And Brundle highlighted Russell's performances in particular as a reason for Mercedes to take great heart as they bid to evolve the W14 into a car capable of taking on the mighty Red Bull RB19.
Russell has outqualified Hamilton on every Saturday of the 2023 season so far, and that 3-0 advantage has Brundle extremely impressed by the 25-year-old.
Martin Brundle on Russell role
He told Sky Sports News: “George is driving beautifully. I think there’s very little to choose between those two and that’s a massive compliment to George Russell because we know just how brilliant Lewis Hamilton is and how motivated he is.
“And what it tells Mercedes-Benz is that, for example, should Lewis retire, decide he’s had enough at any given point, they’ve got George Russell already who is really up to the job, qualifying and in the race."
Having two drivers who are able to really challenge each other can often provide an unwanted headache for an F1 team, but Brundle believes that is not an issue for Mercedes. Mainly down to the way the two men in the cars are handling it.
“He’s [Russell] 20 points behind Lewis in the Championship, because of his retirement in Australia, but that’s a great driver line-up and I think full respect to George and full respect to Lewis because I think he’s handling it extremely well.”
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