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Mansell backs ‘brilliant’ Hamilton to claim world glory

BACKING: Mansell, left, and Hamilton (PA)

EX-WORLD CHAMPION Nigel Mansell has thrown his weight behind Lewis Hamilton’s 2014 world title bid and said the British racer’s form is “close to perfection”.

The 29-year-old Mercedes driver has started the new season in fine form, winning three consecutive Grand Prixs after having to retire from the first race of the campaign – the only blotch on his book to date.

The 60-year-old Mansell, who was F1 world champion in 1992, said he believes Hamilton can claim his second title since his first one in 2008 with McLaren.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Mansell said: “No driver ever wins a world title in a bad team, but what you can do is demonstrate how brilliantly you can win.

“Lewis has done that this season.

“He has been close to perfection, just brilliant.

“When you get a few more wins under your belt, you get even more confidence and that gives you another half a second in your pocket.”

Mansell claimed both Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg will be too hot to handle with their superior car and engine, leaving the others in their wake.

He added: “It doesn't get any better than knowing you have a good car - it's the most wonderful feeling.

“They are the class act of the field in 2014.

"I don't see them dropping the ball.

“They're not going to be unbeatable during the year, but I think it will be very hard to close the gap because of their superior engine performance.

“Lewis and Nico are going to have a tremendous time in 2014.”

Hamilton will be hoping this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix ends with a fourth consecutive win, while Rosberg is likely to push him all the way in what is shaping up to be a season dominated by two rivals on the same team.

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