by Rob Wilkins

Damon Hill believes that one of the reasons Fernando Alonso is struggling against Lewis Hamilton is because the Brit has 'charmed' him into submission.

Speaking to Radio during a press conference in London to re-affirm the BRDC's commitment to keep the British Grand Prix at Silverstone post-2009, the BRDC president explained that it is always tough to race against someone, especially when they are so likeable.

Hill warned though that Alonso will come back and while he later tipped Lewis to take the title, he wasn't so sure earlier in the day.

"That is going to be the thing that no one can predict," he responded when asked how things will develop in the second half of the season. "I think Fernando Alonso will dig deep and he will try and turn things around. He isn't going to take this lying down at all.

"But I think perhaps his motivation is more combative and he wants to challenge a rival and he finds it difficult to dislike Lewis. It is hard to race against someone you like. I think Lewis has almost charmed him a little bit!"

Looking ahead to the British Grand Prix in less than two weeks time, which will follow straight on from this weekend's event in France, the 1996 Formula 1 world champion noted that he is really looking forward to seeing 'Hamilton mania' at Silverstone.

"Lewis has just energised everything [this year]," he continued. "I am excited about seeing him drive and many other people and all the world champions of the past have been saying fantastic things about him.

"To be honest everyone in Formula 1 wants to see what he does. It is incredible. He is such a great guy. I will be there and I am looking forward to seeing how he does."

So what will happen at Silverstone?

"I don't make predictions. I have made predictions in the past and have got them wrong, but my hope is that we will see a fantastic race," he summed-up.

"Above all else Formula 1 needs racing - it needs people glued to their seats to see the combat between two drivers at the very top of their profession and that has been happening this year. We have been seeing some good racing. I hope it continues."




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