Jordan backs Hamilton for F1 title

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The Independent Online

Eddie Jordan believes the smart money should go on Britain's Lewis Hamilton to regain his Formula One world title this season.

Hamilton's McLaren team started slowly last season before coming on strong with a late surge, although it was not enough to prevent Brawn GP wrapping up the drivers' and constructors' championships.

This year Hamilton teams up with world champion Jenson Button in an all-British affair at McLaren but former team owner Jordan has no doubts who will come out on top.

"I can't get my head away from Lewis Hamilton," said Jordan. "He's sharp. He's got talent and the return to the sport of Michael Schumacher will only add to that aggression for him to succeed.

"It's perfect for him. My money wouldn't be anywhere but on Hamilton."

Jordan, who will again be an expert pundit for BBC's F1 coverage, warns that little attention should be paid to the testing earlier this week in Valencia which saw Fernando Alonso flying in his Ferrari and Button off the pace and complaining about the seat in the McLaren.

Jordan said: "If anybody understands about trying to fool the bookies into a false sense of security, then this is what's happening.

"I wouldn't put any credence at all on what's going on at the moment. What matters is what happens in Bahrain on that first Sunday.

"We saw how bad McLaren were in the first half of last season. I went on record saying it was the worst car ever and they still came back.

"I think the momentum is with McLaren and Hamilton is a class act."

According to Jordan, Button will find his change of team something of a culture shock.

Jordan said: "Jenson is going to have to learn to accept a different life. At Brawn he was part of the furniture.

"This is a real eye-opener for him and this will be the measure of the man. But he wouldn't have taken this decision if he wasn't aware of what his requirement would be.

"He's taken the fight to himself. He wants to prove he can beat Hamilton in a very different environment. I'd like to see him in the top three but it will be a big ask."