While many talented youngsters find themselves thrown into a top team as soon as they show the slightest glimpse of potential & forced to cope with the scrutiny that goes with it (Pierre Gasly at Red Bull being a prime example), the lack of pace shown by Russell’s FW42 has allowed him to go about his business largely unnoticed, away from the cameras trained at the front of the field and and the glare of onlookers who are often quick to criticise.
This has given Russell space to grow as a driver and to develop personally, something Coulthard thinks will ultimately help the young Brit on his quest to become an F1 star of the future.
“I have absolutely no doubt that being a bit out of the spotlight has given him the chance to really understand the world of Formula 1, and also to grow into his body.” Coulthard told the Autosport International show in Birmingham.
“He’s a young man right now, and there’s no question that in a few years’ time, he’ll be physically and mentally more able to handle the challenge of a competitive Formula 1 season.”
“I think the pace of a season is something that he is getting the opportunity to learn about that whilst continuing to show he’s got great speed relative to his teammates.”
“That will hopefully see him in a top team in the future.”
Coulthard also told those gathered at Autosport International that it’s been difficult to witness his former team’s struggles in 2019, and how he hopes for a quick turnaround.
“I’m hopeful that Williams can find their way back to being more competitive in the future, because it’s been a bit painful to watch such a great team have the difficulties that they’ve had.”