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Last Updated: Monday, 12 March 2007, 07:56 GMT
Hill on F1's Brits
By Sarah Holt

British quartet (l to r) Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Anthony Davidson and David Coulthard
Who will be the best of the Britons at the end of 2007?
Former world champion Damon Hill is predicting a strong British challenge when the fight for Formula One honours begins in Australia this week.

David Coulthard and Jenson Button will be joined by two more British drivers for the first time in three years.

Lewis Hamilton makes his debut for McLaren while former Honda test driver Anthony Davidson is at Super Aguri.

"Historically Britain has been well represented and it is good to see we are again in 2007," said Hill.

"There's even a good chance one of them could win the British Grand Prix on 8 July."

Hill was the last Briton to win the drivers' crown in 1996 and here he runs the rule over each of his potential successors ahead of the new Formula One season.

JENSON BUTTON - HONDA

I would be delighted to see Jenson go out there and be competitive - but I just can't see that happening.

Jenson Button
Button won his first Grand Prix after 113 races in 2006

There are question marks over Honda's ability to find that 5% which makes the difference between a Renault, Ferrari, McClaren and a team like Honda.

Button won his first Grand Prix in 2006 but it seems Honda are struggling to build on that momentum and go forward.

And if Button is serious about becoming world champion then he has to get a car that is a championship contender.

I don't think it would do Jenson any harm if he was to show his serious side in public because there is a much more determined Jenson underneath that smile.

Of all the British drivers, I see most of myself in Jenson because he doesn't look particularly spectacular but his driving style is economical and he is deceptively quick.

DAVID COULTHARD - RED BULL-RENAULT

This may sound harsh but David has zero chance of being world champion in 2007.

David Coulthard
Coulthard has won 13 Grands Prix but will he add to that total?

Red Bull certainly have the budget and the designers but if they came out and started winning races that would be the biggest surprise of the season.

But David is an experienced driver with Grand Prix wins and he is highly valuable to a team like Red Bull.

His pairing with Mark Webber is not ideal because as drivers they are alike and I expect they will trade places all season with not much between them.

LEWIS HAMILTON - McLAREN-MERCEDES

There is bound to be a degree of awe for Lewis as he arrives in F1 in one of the best teams and alongside two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.

Lewis Hamilton
There are high hopes for Hamilton in his first F1 season

McLaren boss Ron Dennis does not feel he is taking a risk with Lewis and will be confident he can deliver results.

I think Lewis should not be too far away from Alonso and should consistently get in the points.

We can only measure Lewis next to his team-mate and, on occasions, I expect him to be putting Alonso under pressure and getting in front of him.

If Lewis aspired to come second to Alonso then you'd have to question his commitment to becoming world champion. I don't think that will be the case.

ANTHONY DAVIDSON - SUPER AGURI-HONDA

Everywhere Anthony has gone people have rated him and there just hasn't been an opening for him - until now.

Anthony Davidson
Davidson has been toiling as a test driver but now has a chance to race

Super Aguri are not expected to be a front-runner but every year there is an opportunity for an opportunist and Anthony could well be that person.

He is keen and is the sort of driver who will grab his chance so I think he could nick a point or two.

Anthony has a chance to impress other teams. I drove a dog of a car with Brabham but it showed what I could do and Anthony could do the same in 2007.



SEE ALSO
Honda hurting Button hopes - Hill
12 Mar 07 |  Formula One
Honda not quick enough - Button
26 Feb 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton sets hot pace on return
02 Feb 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton needs fast start - Hill
11 Jan 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton gets 2007 McLaren drive
24 Nov 06 |  Formula One
Davidson upbeat on Aguri chances
20 Nov 06 |  Formula One
Red Bull must improve - Coulthard
23 Jan 07 |  Formula One


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