Hill: Hamilton can build up leadership position at Mercedes

Former F1 world champion Damon Hill believes that Lewis Hamilton will find the skills essential to push Mercedes onward for 2013 F1 season.

In 1996 Hill took his title ahead of his rookie teammate Jacques Villeneuve with Williams F1, Hill equaled the record for starting all 16 races of the season from the front row, matching Ayrton Senna in 1989 and Alain Prost in 1993. Sebastian Vettel holds the record for the highest number of front row starts in a season, with 18 in 2011.

Following six season with McLaren, the Brit has joined the famous German F1 squad in legend Michael Schumacher’s place. He has been offered a three-year contract worth 60 million pounds by Mercedes.

“When I was at Williams I had not been leading, I had been very much a test driver,” said Hill told Autosport.

“But when I went to another team I was seen as a leader, so maybe it’s easier to take on that role once they’re looking to you to give them some direction.

“Lewis might learn that, he might find that in himself. We don’t know, but put in that situation he might find it. Look at [Fernando] Alonso. He doesn’t have a design office in his head.

“He knows how to motivate a team and gets the best out of the bunch of guys he’s got.”

Ex British champ also said that now the teams approach have changed to being more one-driver focused in the current period, evaluated to when he was racing in the 1990s.

“In the old days there was only ever one team worth driving for, so you had the two best guys in the same team fighting over attention, now you have more than one team and four guys with their own teams” Hill added.

“You could look at 2013 like this: Jenson Button’s got McLaren, Lewis has got Mercedes, Fernando’s got Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel’s got Red Bull, and Kimi Raikkonen’s got Lotus. The reality of the situation is that any of them could win.”


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