Johnny Herbert tips Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button for strong 2013 seasons

Sky F1 pundit reckons ex-champions set to star next year

By James Galloway.   Last Updated: 17/01/13 10:08am

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Sky Sports F1's Johnny Herbert believes former World Champions Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button are both well placed to make more sustained challenges for the Formula 1 title in 2013.

Lotus driver Raikkonen enjoyed a successful return to the sport this year after a two-season absence, finishing on the podium seven times, completing every race of the 20-race campaign and finally claiming his 19th career victory last month in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking during the final The F1 Show of 2012 in which the Sky team reviewed some of the key moments and performances of the season, Johnny when asked how he rated Raikkonen's comeback year, replied: "I think it was fantastic for him. The comeback has been absolutely brilliant.

"He's come back, he's very, very hungry for it. We saw the race win and, potentially, he could be a big threat next year."

Johnny also reckons that the 2009 title winner, Button, can take advantage of Lewis Hamilton's departure to Mercedes and make his most concerted push yet to become a double World Champion.

Asked about what he was most excited about seeing in 2013, he replied: "McLaren and Jenson Button. [He's] leading the team and I think he's got a good situation to be able to possibly win that second world title."

Fellow Sky F1 pundit Anthony Davidson, meanwhile, said he is most looking forward to seeing how Hamilton goes in his first year at Mercedes and whether or not his arrival can help them make an immediate step forward.

"I think I'm most excited about watching Lewis Hamilton go in a Mercedes," Anthony admitted.

"They've had a difficult season, especially at the end of the year. Yes, they won one race, but can we see that car win more than one race next year with Lewis behind the wheel?"

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