Williams backs Hamilton for McLaren drive

Frank Williams says he would not think twice about bringing young Briton Lewis Hamilton into Formula One next season if he were McLaren's Ron Dennis

Williams backs Hamilton for McLaren drive

"I wouldn't be so presumptuous as to tell Ron Dennis... how to do his job," the team boss wrote in the Daily Telegraph newspaper on Wednesday.

"All I can say regarding the possible appointment of Hamilton at McLaren is that I have not had one regret about putting Nico (Rosberg) in our car this year straight from GP2. Not a bit.

"If I were Ron, I would have no hesitation in putting him in the car. He looked outstanding this year, a super talent," added Williams of the 21-year-old winner of this year's GP2 feeder series.

"There is another benefit too, that is often overlooked. These young drivers bring the costs down. They will be ratcheted up in the years ahead, of course, But it gives us a bit more flexibility."

McLaren have signed world champion Fernando Alonso from Renault for 2007 but have yet to name their second driver, with Finland's Kimi Raikkonen leaving for Ferrari and Juan Pablo Montoya already departed.

Hamilton would be a popular choice, with 35-year-old Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa seen as his main rival and Briton Gary Paffett as another.

Williams also recalled how he had tried and failed to sign Michael Schumacher for his team in 1995, when the German had won his second title for Benetton and was about to join the then-struggling Ferrari.

"Now that he is retiring I have to accept I'll never have Michael in my team," he said. "I'd have loved that. We all would. I did try once.

"We had a couple of conversations with his agent, Willi Weber, at the end of 1995 with a view to having him in the car for 1997.

"The desire was serious but we had never paid a driver the kind of sums they were asking. It's nice to dream. Michael is an absolutely fantastic driver, up there with the best."

Williams won the 1996 and 1997 drivers' and constructors' championships with Briton Damon Hill and Canadian Jacques Villeneuve respectively.

They have not won a title since and this year promises to be the team's worst in nearly 30 years.

"We have looked silly at times," Williams added.

"That's bad. It is more to do with a lack of reliability than performance. The car started off okay but we got left behind in development."

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