Dec 1, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT
Former Formula One driver David Coulthard has backed Britain’s Lewis Hamilton to adapt quickly to the regulation changes next season, and even go on to win the drivers’ championship should Mercedes provide him with the right car.
Hamilton left McLaren – Coulthard’s old team – at the end of 2012 in a move that many believed would not work out. However, he had the last laugh as he won one race with Mercedes and scored a string of podium finishes whilst McLaren struggled with a troublesome car. Now, Coulthard is backing the Briton to fare even better in 2014.
“Lewis Hamilton is a world-class driver and I have seen nothing to suggest that he is incapable of adapting,” he explained to The Daily Telegraph. “His win in Hungary proved that he could work the tires, drive quickly and sensibly, and claim wins in this formula.”
Coulthard was also quick to praise Hamilton’s teammate, Nico Rosberg, but the one-time world championship runner-up believes that he would not be able to beat the Briton across the course of a season.
“Rosberg has proved a handful for him – perhaps more than many people expected – and the German enjoys the mental challenge of this new style of racing. But I am sure that if Mercedes give Lewis a car with which he is comfortable, he can win his second title.”
Hamilton has appeared at ease within the Mercedes setup, and the team is widely thought to have extensively planned for the regulation changes next season in a move that could give the Silver Arrows an edge over Red Bull in 2014.