Former F1 champion Nico Rosberg has placed a significant caveat on George Russell's victory over team-mate Lewis Hamilton in this year's standings.
Russell became only the third team-mate to beat Hamilton over a season, following on from the successes of Jenson Button at McLaren in 2011 and Rosberg five years later at Mercedes.
But in a year that saw Mercedes experiment across the two cars with its setups in a bid to eradicate porpoising, the German believes this puts an asterisk on Russell's achievement.
"George has just done a very good season, so consistent, getting the maximum out of the car all the time so it is hugely impressive for his first year there in Mercedes," Rosberg told Sky Sports' 'Any Driven Monday'.
"Lewis is still at his very best so to beat Lewis is just an unbelievable achievement.
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"We all know Lewis had a bit of an unlucky, scruffy season where the car was not going well and they were experimenting a lot so that kind of mixes things up a little bit. But that doesn't take anything away from George who did an incredibly good job."
Hamilton and Russell were vocal across the season in their willingness to work together in a bid to push the team forward.
But should Mercedes find itself competing at the front from the start of next year, Rosberg expects to see a different atmosphere in the garage.
"Lewis is still at his best so to beat him over a season is so tough, but it will be so great to watch because those guys are so closely matched," added the former Mercedes driver.
"George, certainly, is a future world champion. I am also looking forward to watching how Toto [Wolff] will manage the two drivers.
"One thing is managing them when they are fighting for 10th place, or sixth place.
"That is a whole different story to when you are managing drivers fighting for race win after race win, or even a championship. That is a completely different ballgame.
"So that's something I am certainly looking forward to."