Martin Brundle believes that McLaren's Lewis Hamilton 'needs to get his programme back on track' at the Nurburgring next weekend if he is to maintain his charge for the title.

Although Hamilton currently enjoys a 12-point lead at the top of the drivers' standings, he has had to settle for two third places in the last two races and Brundle, who of course raced in Formula 1 from 1984 to 1996, enjoying spells with McLaren, Benetton, Tyrrell and Jordan, reckons that he needs to bounce back at the European Grand Prix, the tenth round in the 2007 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

"Hamilton has, of course, rewritten the text book on how well a rookie can perform in terms of consistency and delivery under pressure. No rookie has ever led the championship, had nine podium finishes in a row or given their world champion teammate such a tough time. But now the hard work really begins because, as [Fernando] Alonso has pointed out, having to get a good result is very different from getting one while expectation is low," Brundle told British newspaper, The Sunday Times in his 'half-term report'.

"It may be significant that the past two races have been Hamilton's least competitive or impressive, admittedly against a very high benchmark. In France and Britain he slipped badly off the pace once it was clear he couldn't win.

"Had Alonso not been out of position in France he would probably have beaten him, and he did so at Silverstone - by around half a minute. Something is wrong there. I don't know whether it's the distractions or pressure or just coincidence, but Hamilton needs to get his programme back on track at the Nurburgring next weekend."

BRDC president and 1996 Formula 1 world champion, Damon Hill meanwhile agrees that it is only going to get tougher for Hamilton during the remainder of the season. Indeed Hill added that Ferrari are a big threat.

"I think Lewis can win it [the title] this year now. To be leading at Silverstone, statistically not many people lose the world championship from that point. But there's a long way to go still - and it's the hard bit now," Damon told The Sun. "It's all very well to have a good start to the season. But to keep that up race after race will be very difficult. The final third of the season is going to be very interesting to watch. Not only from the view of how he will cope, but, I think there's going to be some serious challenges now from [Kimi] Raikkonen and [Felipe] Massa."

 

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