Motor racing: Hill's new tyres get seal of approval from Berger

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The Independent Online
Damon Hill will be a serious Formula One competitor this coming season - especially with his team's new tyres, one of his main rivals, Gerhard Berger, predicted yesterday.

Hill, the reigning world champion, had just finished a difficult first major test with his new team in Jerez, Spain, when his TWR Arrows was hit by technical problems. Nevertheless, Berger believes Hill can return to the top of the podium. "I don't think we have seen Damon winning a race for the last time," he said. "Damon is a very good racing driver and I am sure he will win and be back on the front row of the grid again."

TWR have switched to using tyres from the Japanese giants Bridgestone, who make their Formula One bow this season in a pounds 70m attempt to end Goodyear's monopoly.

Berger fears they could have a major impact - Ligier have also switched and their driver, Olivier Panis, was six seconds faster in the wet in Jerez this week than Benetton's Jean Alesi.

Berger, whose Benetton team are sticking to Goodyear, said: "I am very worried about Bridgestone. There are some races, particularly if it's wet, when they will be very strong."