Hamilton landed his seventh crown last term in a procession, but after concerning signs during testing and optimism at Red Bull, there is hope that a closer title race could unfold.
And Hill, a champion himself in 1996, believes the Dutch maestro is primed to edge out his Mercedes rival.
“I have got a sneaking feeling that Max could nick this, that is how my gut is going at the moment,” said the Briton.
“But when we get off this call my senses will return and I will immediately realise that I have underestimated, yet again, the power of the Hamilton-Mercedes train.”
While Martin Brundle is also bullish about Verstappen’s chances.
“They have obviously found something with their car, they had a great test,” said Brundle. “Max looks as lean and as mean as I have seen him, Sergio looks relaxed and comfortable, they had a wonderful test.
“Unless Mercedes were carrying heavy fuel with the engine on a very low mode and they were having a laugh with us all, it does appear to be game on with Red Bull.”