1992 F1 world champion Nigel Mansell has said that Lewis Hamilton should have the edge over Jenson Button this season.

Button and Hamilton will both race for McLaren-Mercedes this year, after the former inked a deal to join the Woking-based outfit from Brawn GP during the off-season. Many have suggested the decision to jump ship from the safe and familiar surroundings in which he swept to F1 World Championship glory in 2009 is something he will regret, with Eddie Irvine memorably saying back in January that Button will get 'murdered' by his new team-mate and that it was 'madness' to move.

Mansell it seems agrees - at least partly: "I'd give Lewis the edge only because he's been there for a couple of years," Mansell told BBC Sport.

Pressed on how Button will do in F1 2010, Mansell added though that Jenson should get better as the season goes on: "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 added on Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek.

Mansell meanwhile also noted that it is unlikely Michael Schumacher will win his eighth F1 title this season on his return to the sport with Mercedes GP after a three-year absence.

"In the first year [the 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," Mansell continued.

"I certainly put him down for some race wins this year. Anything is possible with Ross Brawn and Michael. He's back with his old mentor."

Schumacher will be 41-years-old when the F1 2010 season begins in Bahrain this coming weekend and while Mansell himself is a just 'little' bit older - at 56 - he joked that he might yet do a comeback too.

"Never say die. If there's a good F1 seat, who knows? Why not, it would make a bit of history, wouldn't it?" he summed-up.