Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has insisted George Russell is a "champion in the making".
Russell earned the nickname 'Mr Saturday' for his breathtaking performances in qualifying during a three-year stint at Williams in back-of-the-grid machinery.
The Briton failed to escape Q1 on just three occasions last year and made the top 10 four times, starting second in Belgium and third in Russia - the lap at Spa Francorchamps a highlight of the season.
Speaking after Russell secured his maiden pole position in Hungary prior to the summer shutdown, Wolff said: "George is a champion in the making and he was a champion in all the junior categories - in F3, F2, as a rookie.
"We would have never put him in a Mercedes if we didn't believe he can be a future world champion."
Hungary pole "special"
Mercedes is enduring its longest wait in a season for a race win since 2013 but recent results including consecutive double podium appearances for Russell and Lewis Hamilton in France and Hungary have shown much-needed signs of improvement.
Russell's pole was also the team's first qualifying success of the season and Wolff added: "It is George's first pole so that will always be something special for him, and us, because that is a moment to remember.
"But George had these incredible performances in junior series and he had it in Spa last year in the rain. It is just another milestone of the many he is going to achieve."
Additional reporting by Ian Parkes