Damon Hill has admitted that he would like to see Lewis Hamilton succeed him as Britain's next Formula 1 World Champion in 2008 – and has suggested his young countryman follow his own advice rather than listen to that of others'.
Hamilton currently holds a slender five-point advantage in the drivers' standings with seven races left to run, though the campaign has ebbed and flowed from day one, with defending F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen, fellow Ferrari man Felipe Massa and BMW-Sauber star Robert Kubica similarly having taken turns atop the table.
Whilst revealing that he would be pleased to see the McLaren-Mercedes ace triumph at season's end, Hill insists he is keeping his distance in terms of offering the 23-year-old any extra advice – claiming he already has too many people telling him what he should be doing.
“I'd like to see Lewis win it,” the 1996 title-winner told British newspaper The Sun
, acknowledging that the scrap for glory will be 'very tight and exciting'. “He's a superstar really, and it's very exciting that he is carrying the British flag.
“We're different generations, and he probably looks at me and thinks I'm an old fart! Someone once gave me a very good analogy – if you have one watch you know what the time is, but if you have two you don't know which one is right.
“The more advice you get, the more confusing it becomes. Lewis has to do what is right for him.”
The 47-year-old also praised McLaren for the manner in which the Woking-based concern has rebounded from both the espionage scandal that engulfed it just twelve months ago, and its troubled relationship with double world champion Fernando Alonso in 2007.
“The things McLaren had to contend with last year would have crushed most teams,” the British Racing Drivers' Club President contended, “but they don't seem to have missed a beat.
“That's what it's all about ultimately. You've got to have the reserve to stay strong even though you've had everything thrown at you. They have done that, which says oodles about the robustness of their organisation.”