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GP Week : Issue 46
Hamilton backs Button! LEWIS Hamilton has given his backing to fellow Briton Jenson Button to succeed him as World Champion. Hamilton has all but given up on the hope of challenging his countryman for the title, admitting last week that if things have not improved by the British Grand Prix then he and McLaren can wave goodbye to any thoughts they had of defending their crown. “I think Jenson’s got a great chance, a great shot at it so I wish him all the best,” he told Reuters. “I think if I were to wish anyone to win, it would be him. “I want to win the World Championship [but] we are a long way behind in points. I’ve never been as far behind or ahead in points before. There’s a lot of races left and if the car in front that is leading doesn’t finish the next 10 races ... it’s never over until it’s over. “For sure when we get to mid-season if we’ve still not scored many points, then we will have to knock it on the head. “We’ll keep pushing to try and win races in the year but clearly defending the World Championship is out of the question.” After being lapped by Button at the Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton admitted that even though Monaco is his favourite track, he can’t see anyone being able to stop the Brawn cars. “I think it’s a great story, so I wish him all the luck. They [Brawn] are going to have a great car [in Monaco] so to beat them will be very tough. I don’t think he has ever won there ... it will be a very special one for him to add to his list.” The McLaren driver says he will push as hard as possible to retain his crown, but he is aware that things would have to change very quickly for him to have a realistic chance. Rosberg future uncertain for 2010 Could it be out with one Nico, in with another at Williams? THE future of Nico Rosberg as a Williams driver has again been cast into doubt. Following numerous rumours in 2008 that the German was bound for a move away from the team in 2009, fresh doubts have been cast onto the 2005 GP2 champion’s long-term future with the British squad. Rosberg’s performance at the Spanish Grand Prix left high- ranking members of the team perplexed after his lap times proved inconsistent, ultimately leading to the impression that a far better result might have been achievable. While Rosberg himself went on the record during the week to insist his options remain open for 2010, team founder Sir Frank Williams has not ruled out the prospect of Rosberg’s place at the team being taken by the team’s tester and reserve driver, 2008 F3 EuroSeries Champion Nico Hulkenberg, who is competing in GP2 in 2009. Williams told German press that Hulkenberg was “absolutely on our list” for 2010. While much will ultimately depend on Rosberg’s departure, the team is certainly not showing any signs that it is worried about being short of replacements. 10