London - Former British world champion driver Nigel Mansell believes Lewis Hamilton's impressive start to the Formula One season has been “close to perfection”.
Hamilton will head to Barcelona for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix on the back of three successive race wins, with the only blot on his 2014 record a mechanical problem in the opening race in Australia which forced the Mercedes driver into a retirement.
Since then he has been relentless in his quest for a second world title, although he still trails Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by four points in the drivers' championship standings.
And 1992 world champion Mansell told the BBC on Tuesday:
“No driver ever wins a world title in a bad team, but what you can do is demonstrate how brilliantly you can win. Lewis has done that this season.”
Mansell was in no doubt about the quality of his fellow Briton's performances so far this season.
“He has been close to perfection, just brilliant. He has been given the freedom to express himself.
“When you get a few more wins under your belt, you get even more confidence and that gives you another half a second in your pocket.
“It doesn't get any better than knowing you have a good car. It's the most wonderful feeling.”
Hamilton and Rosberg have claimed all four pole positions and wins between them so far in 2014, and Mansell said he expected the battle for the title to remain an all-Mercedes affair.
“They are the class act of the field in 2014. I don't see them dropping the ball,” Mansell said.
“They're not going to be unbeatable during the year, but I think it will be very hard to close the gap because of their superior engine performance.
“Lewis and Nico are going to have a tremendous time in 2014.”