Mercedes have been warned they chose the wrong driver to partner Lewis Hamilton in 2022 following the capture of George Russell.
Former Williams driver Russell, 23, will form an exciting all-British partnership with Hamilton, taking the place of Valtteri Bottas.
Russell was dubbed 'Mr Saturday' last season after consistently performing above expectations in qualifying, with his career highlight coming in Spa where he was only denied pole at the death by Max Verstappen.
Somewhat dubiously, his second place on the grid became cemented as his finishing position the next day, when only two safety car led laps were possible due to torrential rain, meaning a first ever podium place.
After months of speculation, his display prompted Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to confirm his signing for the team for 2022.
He had previously stood in for Hamilton at Mercedes at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, eventually finishing ninth after a slow puncture scuppered his chances of victory.
However, despite Russell's undoubted promise, he only managed to amass 16 points in the drivers' standings last season, finishing down in 15th place, and the decision to sign him has now been questioned by two F1 pundits.
On the F1: Chequered Flag podcast, Jack Nicholls argued the spot was better suited to Lando Norris, who finished sixth overall with McLaren and was only denied a maiden Grand Prix win by late downpours at the Russian Grand Prix.
Nicholls said: "If I’m Mercedes and I have a free choice in that second seat alongside Hamilton, I think I’m picking Norris over Russell after this year."
Jolyon Palmer agreed by adding: "I’m going with Jack on it, I’m going with Lando."
Palmer cited the 22-year-old's display in Sochi as the catalyst for big things ahead.
"The way that he held off Lewis Hamilton at the end of that Sochi race until the strategy and the tyre choice got away from him, was unbelievable.
"For a guy that has never won a race, to have a seven-time World Champion breathing down his neck in a Mercedes.
"Then it starts raining, and he’s still off the road a couple of times, scrabbling around, but keeping Hamilton, we all know how good he is in the wet, behind him.
"It was really legendary stuff I think from Norris."
Norris will instead remain at McLaren alongside Daniel Ricciardo, with the pair recording the team's first one-two finish for 11 years at last season's Italian Grand Prix.
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