Hill Backs Montoya to Beat Schumacher

Michael Schumacher's old foe and former champion Damon Hill is backing Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya to prevent Ferrari's German ace claiming a record sixth Formula One title.

Hill Backs Montoya to Beat Schumacher

Michael Schumacher's old foe and former champion Damon Hill is backing Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya to prevent Ferrari's German ace claiming a record sixth Formula One title.

"I think it wouldn't surprise anyone to know I'm rooting for Montoya," the Briton, who won the 1996 crown for Williams after some wheel-banging races against Schumacher, told Tuesday's Guardian newspaper.

"That's not because I'm against Michael but because I think Montoya would deserve it and it would be nice to have a change," added Hill.

Montoya, who drives for Williams, is three points behind Schumacher with two races remaining. McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen is also a contender, seven points off the pace.

Hill, beaten by one point by Schumacher after their controversial collision in the 1994 season finale in Australia and runner-up to him again in 1995, said the swashbuckling Colombian could have the upper hand psychologically.

"Montoya has rather cleverly snuck up on Michael in this challenge for the Championship," said the son of the late former champion Graham Hill. "It's absolutely clear that he's the man who is going to take the fight to Michael.

"It's a long time since we've seen Michael under pressure like this on a regular basis.

"Michael is clearly wary of Montoya," he added. "He knows he's a tough fighter. And that's where Michael can show his Achilles heel, when he's under pressure. If he feels as though he's becoming the prey, then he gets ragged."

Hill said the key would be whether Schumacher felt more pressure in the last two races with a record title at stake or whether Montoya, a CART champion, was more pressured by the prospect of his first.

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