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Hill hails 'extraordinary' Schumacher

ESPNF1 Staff
January 20, 2012 « Valencia negotiating with Ecclestone | Toro Rosso ready to run TR7 »
Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher clashed many times during Hill's career © Sutton Images
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Damon Hill has described Michael Schumacher as "an extraordinary performer" but says that he can't take his drive at Mercedes for granted.

Hill and Schumacher enjoyed a close rivalry in the mid-nineties as Schumacher won two titles for Benetton before Hill's championship in 1996. Hill retired in 1999 just before Schumacher's period of domination with Ferrari, and he told the Press Association that he was impressed with the commitment shown by the seven-time world champion but that he'll have to maintain it if he wants to remain in the sport.

"It's unbelievable he's still going, whilst I've been retired for 12 years," Hill said. "He's an extraordinary performer who clearly loves his driving and doesn't want to stop. I can understand that. But Formula One cannot carry people along if they are not doing their bit. He's going to have to fight with everything he's got to keep going for another year, or beyond this one."

Hill also admitted that he doubts Schumacher can match the pace he used to display, and said that it wasn't helping people judge his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

"Your career will depend on how you compare. So in a sense Nico would do better to have some comparison with a more contemporary driver because people are not sure of the pace Michael now has."

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