World champion Lewis Hamilton must be considered as the overwhelming favourite to win his fifth Formula One title this season, according to Nigel Mansell.
Hamilton, 33, is due at Silverstone on Thursday as he and team-mate Valtteri Bottas unveil Mercedes’ new car for the forthcoming campaign.
Mercedes have been the sport’s dominant force in recent times with Hamilton surpassing Sir Jackie Stewart as the only British driver to win more than three championships after he beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to the title last year.
Hamilton has kept a low profile over the winter break following criticism he courted after comments made about his nephew in a social media post at Christmas.
But the Englishman will make his first public outing of the new year on Thursday when he takes the wraps off the Mercedes that 1992 world champion Mansell believes could fire him to further glory.
“There is no question that Lewis and Mercedes are the clear favourites again,” Mansell told Press Association Sport.
“Lewis has got many more years in him if he has got the appetite, and I can see no reason why he cannot win a few more world championships and set the bar very high for the future.
“I just hope for the good of Formula One that Ferrari, Red Bull and even McLaren can put a challenge to Mercedes so we can have some exciting racing.
“You mustn’t underestimate the great job that Ferrari did last year – although they had problems and Sebastian had a few races that went the wrong way – without their tremendous strive to win the championship it wouldn’t have been as exciting as it was.
“I hope they continued in that vein over the winter, and hopefully Red Bull have found some more power from their Renault engine, too.”
Hamilton’s contract expires at the end of the year, and while his Mercedes team are confident their star man will sign a new two-year deal, the lack of a formal announcement is likely to keep the sport’s major players on their toes.
Both Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo have only this year to run on their respective deals at Ferrari and Red Bull, while McLaren chief Zak Brown recently admitted that he would be interested in offering Hamilton a second chapter with the British team.
“I would be very surprised if Lewis did not sign a new deal with Mercedes,” Mansell added. “But if Red Bull or Ferrari were to do something special over the winter by making the jump over Mercedes, and then offer Lewis an incredible deal, who knows?
“At the moment however, Lewis has the world at his feet, he is in the best car and at the best team, so why would you want to change it?
“Some people in their careers are very privileged to be in a strong position and Lewis is one of those because he can afford to be patient. When the time is right for him, he will sign on the dotted line.”
– Nigel Mansell was speaking after helping deliver a new £7million helicopter to the Midlands Air Ambulance Service, with public donations raised in just three years funding the new aircraft.
- How many more points does Lewis Hamilton need to win sixth F1 championship?
- How early can Lewis Hamilton wrap up his sixth world title?
- Ferrari accused of 'cheating' by an enraged Lewis Hamilton as F1 title fight gets dirty at British Grand Prix
- F1: Lewis Hamilton takes pole position, 2018 Formula 1 British Grand Prix
- Vettel overcomes neck pain, Hamilton for 51st F1 title
- New Oxford upsets Bermudian Springs to win first YAIAA title
- Kenya: Makena Onjerika Wins 2018 Caine Prize for African Writing
- I will retain my international title, says Nigeria’s draught champion
- Oregon State baseball overcame staggering number of obstacles to win 2018 College World Series
- England can win FIFA World Cup, says 1966 hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst
- The Autoweek Podcast Ep. 41: Hamilton wins his fifth F1 title, California Hot Rod Reunion, Radwood and 2019 Subaru WRX STI review
- Red Bull F1 executive says they can win the championship with Honda
- Renault F1 boss says Daniel Ricciardo may need thicker skin for midpack life
- Argyle's odds on winning League One title tumble after signings
- Cormier stops heavyweight Miocic to win 2nd UFC title belt
- Twins win first division title since 2010; Minnesota United clinch first playoff spot ever
- UC Clermont women's soccer wins 2018 USCAA DII national title
- Gabriela Taveras becomes first woman of color to win Miss Massachusetts title
Hamilton is clear favourite to win 2018 F1 title, says Mansell have 733 words, post on www.thecourier.co.uk at February 20, 2018. This is cached page on Auto News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.