While Michael Schumacher returns to Formula One racing at the age of 41, Damon Hill could find himself running the rule over his old rival as a grand prix steward later this season.
The International Automobile Federation FIA said at the Bahrain season-opener that Hill would be one of the stewards at the Monaco Grand Prix in May as well as at least one other race.
The Briton, 49, world champion with Williams in 1996 after some epic and highly controversial battles with German Schumacher, assured yesterday he would be impartial.
"There are more important things than individual relationships. The important thing is the sport, and that the sport has got credibility," he said at the Sakhir circuit where seven-times champion Schumacher is making his comeback with Mercedes.
"If judgments are made, and which are perceived to be glaringly unbalanced, then it damages the sport, so we have to avoid that.
"The people have to make decisions based on the analysis of right and wrong, irrespective of who those people might be," he added.
"I think I'm sufficiently distanced from it."
Hill never won in the principality, beaten into second place by Schumacher in 1995, whereas his late champion father Graham was dubbed 'Mr Monaco' for his five victories there.
In 1994, Hill and Schumacher collided in a title-deciding race in Adelaide that eliminated both from the race and handed the German his first crown. Stewards judged it a racing incident, although some observers saw a more deliberate intent.
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