David Coulthard has predicted that the battle for the 2011 F1 title will be tightly fought and has warned that no team should be underestimated at such an early point in the year.
Red Bull currently head both championships after Sebastian Vettel won two of the first three races of the season, although Lewis Hamilton clinched a first win of the year for McLaren last time out in China.
Despite his former teams being the two leading the way in the fly-away events that kick-started the campaign, Coulthard said it was by no means a simple fight between Red Bull and McLaren for honours and insisted it was a tough call to make on who will end the year on top.
"You know, we get blase in life about watching these sort of things but it takes real commitment and skill. It will be a close season, which is great for the sport," he told Today Online
. "You cannot underestimate anyone, even Ferrari, who are having a difficult start to the season.
“I think for the good of the sport, we need different people winning. Just like in football, if the same team wins all the time, it's boring."
Coulthard added that Hamilton's victory in Shanghai was one of the more impressive he has seen in recent times.
"No one ever wins all the Grands Prix, and the championship last year was incredible as it went down to the last race,” he said. “Whether it will happen this year, I don't know but I think Hamilton's win in Shanghai was one of the best victories that I remember seeing for some time because he had to pass his team-mate and came close to touching Jenson Button."