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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 June 2006, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
Hill defends Button's F1 ability
British GP, 11 June, 1200 BST

Jenson Button
Hill believes Button (above) can be the next British world champion
Damon Hill has backed Honda's Jenson Button to succeed him as the next British Formula One world champion.

Button is searching for his first Grand Prix win after six years in the sport but Hill, who won the 1996 crown, says Button has the ability to succeed.

"Jenson is definitely capable of winning Grand Prix and becoming world champion in the right circumstances," Hill told Autosport magazine.

"I don't think Jenson is slacking. He's absolutely committed and wants to win."

Button has struggled with his Honda's lack of pace and technical difficulties this season. The 26-year-old has only managed to secure one podium spot, in Malaysia, from seven races.

Jenson has the right attributes, he just needs some stronger equipment to finish it off

Former world champion Damon Hill

Hill, who was recently appointed as the new president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, believes Button is being held back by his uncompetitive car not by his driving skills.

"His style is quite neat and precise and I think that it is easy to feel with someone like that that he is not driving that hard, but that is a mistake," Hill said.

"He has the right attributes, he just needs some stronger equipment to finish it off."

Button has already played down his chances of home success at the British Grand Prix this weekend.

There will be plenty of support for the Somerset-born driver from the Silverstone stands but Renault's championship leader Fernando Alonso and Ferrari's Michael Schumacher are once again expected to dominate the race.

However, Hill has urged the British fans not to give up on Button.

"Jenson is our leading hope in this country and he has a massive amount of support," Hill said.

"Jenson wants to win. To put it in perspective, he is 26 and I didn't get into F1 until I was 33, then I had a lot of races after that. Let's just hope he gets there sooner rather than later."

SEE ALSO
Schumi - Ferrari need British win
07 Jun 06 |  Formula One
Button expects Honda to deliver
02 Jun 06 |  Formula One
Honda failings frustrate Button
07 May 06 |  Formula One
Button writes off British chances
29 May 06 |  Formula One
Button agrees deal to stay at BAR
21 Sep 05 |  Formula One
Hill named as new BRDC president
28 Apr 06 |  Formula One


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