Lewis Hamilton has been backed to match Michael Schumacher's record of seven Formula One world titles in the 2020 season by David Coulthard.
Hamilton has won three consecutive F1 drivers' championships to move on to six overall, just one behind Ferrari great Schumacher.
He goes into a new campaign as the favourite to come out on top once again and fellow Briton Coulthard, a 13-time race winner in his career, sees little reason to doubt him.
"It's certainly on the cards, isn't it?" Coulthard told Omnisport about the prospect of Hamilton moving level with Schumacher's landmark.
"Lewis Hamilton is an exceptional driver, he's a great asset for Mercedes. He's had an exceptional run of grand prix championships. He's got the skills, he's got a great team.
"There's no reason why he wouldn't be able to do that and I think actually with records being there to be broken, it would be great if he was able to equal Michael."
1000s of hours go into design and production for the final outcome. It’s an art to get this all together, but one of the most exciting moments of the year seeing everyone’s hard work displayed. I’m so privileged to experience driving the #W11 of which I’m so grateful pic.twitter.com/b3Zun48ZQw— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) February 14, 2020
Comparing the two drivers, Coulthard added: "They have two different styles and two different ways of achieving their success.
"Michael was kind of ruthless in his approach, a little bit more like Ayrton Senna in that respect. Absolutely prepared to bang wheels and do whatever was necessary to get the victory, combined with a very high skill level, speed and commitment.
"Lewis is more considered and measured in his wheel-to-wheel combat. He has very good spatial awareness when it comes to racing wheel-to-wheel and very rarely gets involved in incidents."
With his contract due to expire after 2020, Hamilton has been heavily linked with a move to Ferrari, but Mercedes' optimism about keeping him appears to have grown with the new season approaching.
And Coulthard does not believe it would make much sense for Hamilton to move on in 2021, by which point he will have turned 36.
"If he wants to be in Formula One, I expect him to be at Mercedes, but he doesn't have to make a decision right now," Coulthard said.
"I don't see a logical other opportunity for him at this stage of his career. Therefore, if and when he decides he's continuing, I'm sure it will be at Mercedes."Published 15 Feb 2020, 21:28 IST