Belfast Telegraph

Mansell believes Hamilton will thrive in Formula One title race

Motor racing legend Nigel Mansell believes Lewis Hamilton has the edge in the battle of the Britons when the Formula One championship gets under way at Bahrain next Sunday.

Hamilton, the 2008 world champion, teams up with reigning champion Jenson Button, the new boy at McLaren, in the most eagerly anticipated season for years.

Mansell said: “I'd give Lewis the edge only because he's been there for a couple of years but Jenson will settle down and hopefully prove what a great world champion he is and compete very strongly.

“I think they are both number ones in the same team. I give Lewis the edge for the first six races because he knows the team and the people and the car.

“Jenson will take a few races to get up to speed with the car but after that they should have total parity.”

Mansell won the world title for the first time at 39 and he does not rule out returning former world champion Michael Schumacher adding another trophy to his seven-title haul.

Schumacher, 41, comes out of retirement to take to the grid with Mercedes which is run by Ross Brawn, the team leader who guided Button to the world title with the Brawn team last season.

Mansell said: “Anything is possible with Ross Brawn and Michael.

“In the first year (the world title) probably is a little bit too far but if he's in for a couple of years I don't see any reason why not.”

Belfast Telegraph

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