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Damon Hill

Hill: Mercedes must unite behind Hamilton to win

The 1996 F1 world champion thinks that both Red Bull and Mercedes need to give maximum support to their lead drivers if they want to seal the world title this year. But will the likes of Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez be willing to play supporting roles?

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Damon Hill has claimed that Mercedes must prioritise Lewis Hamilton this season if they want to capture world titles.

With Red Bull looking like the team to beat, the former F1 world champion believes the team will focus their efforts towards assisting the Brit - which could end up being bad news for teammate Valtteri Bottas.

"Any kind of external threat unites a team," Hill said on the F1 Nation podcast.

"So for years now, we've had Mercedes fighting amongst themselves between drivers for the title and occasional incursions from people like Red Bull or Ferrari, but now they have an external threat.

"So I think that that you'll see that teamwork solidifying behind Lewis, their main campaigner. They know that Lewis is their strongest card in their pack. I think he demonstrated that magnificently in Bahrain."

However, as Hill attests to, the situation may also require Red Bull to do something similar with their driver line-up. Sergio Perez may be new to the team, but the former Williams driver is under no illusions as to who leads the way in the Red Bull and Mercedes camps.

"I know for a fact that Red Bull were scratching their heads after Bahrain, because they knew that Lewis had done something slightly magical by staying ahead of their car, which they felt was slightly better," Hill continued.

"But what it means is that these two teams are going to put their best man forward. And it's going to be, you know, an arrowhead-type attack between those two teams."

"I think if you've got two guys within a team, and you've got an external threat, which is what happened with me in the Williams team, I had David Coulthard [as teammate] who could also win races. So I had David to fight as well as Goliath - Michael Schumacher. It can go wrong if you're not careful."

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