1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill reckons Jenson Button could spring a surprise this season off the back of a 'super strong' end to 2011.

Button finished second in the drivers' championship last year, 'best of the rest' after runaway world champion, Sebastian Vettel. The McLaren man claimed three victories during 2011 and scored 270 points in total, comfortably finishing ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

"I think Button is always a dark horse," Hill told Crash.net during the recent Sky Sports F1 press day. "He doesn't make a big scene. He gets on with it. With these kinds of tyres it is looking good for him. He is a canny driver and he is getting better.

"At the end of last year I thought he was super strong and you started to put money on Button each time. [Whereas with] Lewis you always feel it could go either way...

"There are a lot of very talented drivers [in F1 though], and I am [also] interested in battles between other team-mates, say [Nico] Hulkenberg and [Paul] di Resta.

"Certain teams have got good pairings of very talented drivers. It will be interesting to watch that unfold and whether those guys can do enough to dislodge the top six guys. You have to do something remarkably amazing to break into that circle. But that is always the game.

"The way I look at it from a drivers' point of view is: Who out there is doing something exceptional? [Sebastian] Vettel and [Fernando] Alonso did something exceptional to get where they are."

Fellow Sky Sports F1 man, David Croft however, disagrees and he is expecting Hamilton to bounce back after a troubled 2011.

"Jenson could be there, but Lewis gives you that extra oomph at times. While Jenson has done really, really well, I think we will see the return of Lewis this year. He is in a better place," added Croft, who will be the lead commentator for Sky working alongside Martin Brundle.

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