Ralf Schumacher believes that George Russell could do a better job at Mercedes than Valtteri Bottas is currently doing.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff quashed recent speculation that the team could replace Bottas with Russell as soon as this season, and Schumacher seems in agreement with this decision. However, the former F1 driver thinks that Russell would fare better at the Silver Arrows in the medium term.
"To change Valtteri now, he would have to be a very bad driver, and he's not," Schumacher told Sky Germany. "We have seen with Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren and Checo Perez at Red Bull that it is very difficult to adapt quickly to a new car.
"But I would put George Russell in a Mercedes in the medium term. I think he would do a better job there than Bottas.
"Because of all the setbacks he has had, everything is becoming very difficult for Valtteri."
Russell has long been linked to a future Mercedes seat, having been a part of the team's junior programme. However, his chances initially appeared to have taken a hit at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix when he collided with Bottas and furiously blamed the Finn for the incident.
The Briton went as far as to suggest in comments immediately after the race that Bottas would not have defended so hard against any other driver, seemingly implying that Russell's threat as a future Mercedes prospect played a role in the incident.
Russell went on to apologise for his remarks though and also said sorry to Bottas.
It seems that the Williams driver isn't the only possible candidate for a future spot at Lewis Hamilton's team though. Fellow Mercedes junior driver Esteban Ocon has also seen his name speculated as a possibility after a strong start to the season with Alpine.