David Coulthard is keen to see how George Russell develops alongside Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next season, as he feels it will be the first time the youngster is tested by a teammate.
Russell has spent the last three seasons at Williams, regularly out-performing the likes of Robert Kubica and Nicholas Latifi over that time.
Next season, Russell will take over from Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes, putting him up against a seven-time World Champion in Hamilton. Coulthard believes the challenge will show whether Russell is able to take that next step forward.
"It will, absolutely," Coulthard told Channel 4, when it was put to him that the relationship will "kick off" next year.
"It will be the making of George up against the driver of a couple of generations.
"This is where George Russell becomes the making of a future World Champion. Because he hasn't been pushed by any of his teammates, it will be very different with Lewis.
"In the beginning, he will just be young and full of energy, he will be fresh, and then he will get worn down by the relentlessness of Lewis, and that's the point at which he will grow as a man."
Coulthard isn't the only former F1 driver turned pundit keeping a close eye on Mercedes' driver line-up for 2022, with Damon Hill recently stating Russell has the talent to reach Hamilton's 'mystical' level.
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