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DATE News (chronologically)
03/28/09
f1
Hamilton learning F1 'not easy' - Mansell
(GMM)  Nigel Mansell on Saturday welcomed Lewis Hamilton, F1's youngest ever world champion, to the world of struggling at the pinnacle of motor sport.

Following his opening two seasons at the sharp end, 24-year-old Briton Hamilton is facing 2009 in the pack as McLaren works to improve its currently uncompetitive MP4-24.

In Australia, for Hamilton's first taste of being off the pace, he has struggled to match the pace of his teammate Heikki Kovalainen, and on Friday night sat out the Melbourne grand prix ball, despite his new status as world champion.

"I think what Lewis didn't realize when he joined formula one is that he had walked into the best team with the best car," Mansell, the 1992 world champion and a regular critic of Hamilton, told Talksport radio.

"It shouldn't be as easy as what he made it look.  Now he's finding that if you haven't got the car quite right, then you can be off the pace.

"However, McLaren won't just lie down without a fight and with Mercedes behind them they will keep on going," Mansell added.

In total contrast, Britain's other F1 prospect - Jenson Button - has burst from the rear of the grid to be the bookies' favorite this weekend in the Brawn.

But Mansell insists the 29-year-old driver has not been "reborn" in the wake of the Honda debacle.

"I think, like a lot of drivers, he has always been there -- but if you don't have the car underneath you, then you can't do the job," he said.

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