Former Formula One driver David Coulthard has given Lewis Hamilton his support for the coming season, believing that his compatriot can succeed with Mercedes.
Hamilton has received some criticism after leaving McLaren for a team with just one race win since their return to the sport in 2010, but former Red Bull driver Coulthard believes the Mercedes racer will still be competitive.
“Yes, of course he can win. That team has wins in its DNA and won the championship in its Brawn guise.
“It will be the making of him as a man and a racer because you do need different experiences and environments to really develop as an individual. He can reset everything going to Mercedes because he is not Lewis the teenager, happy to be there and desperate to be a F1 driver.”
“He is an existing world champion and goes there as such and will build new relationships. They see the Lewis of today rather than the Lewis as a young kid who should be grateful for the opportunity.”
Hamilton has been quick to write off his chances in 2013, believing it would take a year before both he and teammate Nico Rosberg could compete for race wins. However, following an impressive showing in winter testing, Mercedes are favorites to win the first race in Australia. The unpredictable opening Grand Prix could give many teams a chance of winning, and Coulthard was quick to point this out.
“It is always unpredictable in Melbourne. We do get some mixed results there. But that said, it is not a slow car that wins the race.”
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Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.