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Hill: Rosberg more formidable

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 06-02-2016 skysports.com
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Sky Sports F1's Damon Hill believes the experience of being championship runner-up over the past two seasons makes Nico Rosberg a much more formidable opponent for Lewis Hamilton in 2016. 

When driving for Williams, Hill finished second in the drivers' standings to Benetton's Michael Schumacher in 1994 and 1995 before winning the title in 1996.

The Sky F1 pundit believes Rosberg can follow in his footsteps and win the title after two years of heartache. Rosberg's father Keke won the title in 1982, but Hill remains the only son of a world champion to also win a F1 drivers' title.

"I think he is a little bit more formidable," Hill told Sky Sports.

"I think after the Austin defeat, the day when he lost the championship and Lewis infamously tossed the cap and he tossed it straight back, I think there was a moment where Nico said 'okay, I am not going to take this anymore' and he did go ahead and win all the remaining races.

"He can go on ahead and become the other world champion's son to become a world champion himself. He probably knows time is running out and when you get all those ingredients together you maybe get a little bit of a hardening of the determination. Maybe he will be more determined this year and harder to beat."

Current Williams driver Felipe Massa went further, warning Hamilton that he will have to be on top of his game to beat Rosberg in 2016.

"We saw Nico win the last three races, so it shows that maybe Hamilton was a little less interested in the last three races compared to how he was before because he was doing an amazing championship before," Massa told Sky Sports.

"I think Lewis needs to be a bit more focused now as I don't think he is going to have a very easy championship inside his team looking at what Nico did in the last races. He will need to be very focused."

The new season starts on March 20 with pre-season testing underway in Barcelona from February 22.

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