The BSD says
Global Mod Team
Join Date: Jul 2003
Re: Hamilton, optimistic?
Damon Hill on Hamilton:
``The first season is the toughest,'' said Hill, at today's opening of the Autosport International Show in Birmingham.
``But all he has to do is be right on the heels of Fernando Alonso, two times world champion, and I think his confidence will grow and grow.
``You've a season's grace - maybe even half-a-season - because people will give him the leeway and the benefit of the doubt for that first six months.
``But then, at the end of the season, if he hasn't outpaced Fernando at one point or another, people will be saying 'Where is it? Where's that spark? Where's that thing?'
``Because you have to accept those that have gone on to become great drivers - like Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna - they arrived and they went `bang'.
``They were on the scene, on the pace, outpacing their team-mate - and they were there right from the word go.
``So it is fair to say there is a little pressure, but I don't think Lewis Hamilton is the sort of person who under-estimates that.
``I think he understands that and respects that. He's got a window of opportunity to learn, but it's going to be a short one.''
Hill also issued a stern rebuke to David Coulthard, who has been one of the few to criticise McLaren for handing Hamilton a race seat. Hill feels Coulthard's comments were borne out of the fact he is now at the tail-end of his Formula One career at the age of 35.
``David perhaps is revealing his slight reflection on the fact that he was a young driver once, like Lewis is,'' added Hill.
``Lewis is the future. He's going to be in F1 for a good few years, and let's hope that Lewis has more success and makes more of his opportunities.
``You have to say it's now possible to reflect on DC's career in that respect. I think it's not well founded, that assessment.
``I think Lewis has a proven track record of being a winner in GP2, and he's been well coached and guided by a very professional team in McLaren and Ron
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