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Lewis Hamilton is unfazed by Rosberg's flying start

Published 05/04/2016

Keeping cool: Lewis Hamilton says there’s a long way to go
Keeping cool: Lewis Hamilton says there’s a long way to go

Lewis Hamilton insists he "couldn't care less" that Nico Rosberg has stolen an early march in the battle for this season's Formula One World title.

Rosberg has extended his lead over Hamilton to 17 points by following up his triumph at the curtain-raiser in Melbourne with his second victory of the campaign in Bahrain on Sunday.

The German, winner of the last five grands prix - a streak which stretches back to last season - benefited from a sluggish start by Hamilton to claim the 16th victory of his career. Hamilton sustained damage in a first-corner collision with Valtteri Bottas before nursing his Mercedes home to finish third.

The Briton, who last won at October's United States Grand Prix, the scene of his third World crown, said: "I couldn't care less if he's won the last five, it's the last two (that matter). If you win consecutively in a season that's something, but five over two seasons, for me that doesn't psychologically mean anything."

Making reference to Muhammad Ali's World heavyweight title fight against George Foreman in 1974 in which Ali soaked up pressure in the opening rounds before knocking his rival out in the eighth, Hamilton added: "You can't win them all. Not that this is the same, but Muhammad Ali with that Rumble in the Jungle... he got the dude to believe that he was winning and he didn't. So anything can happen.

"I'm in the most solid place I've ever been psychologically. There's very little if anything that can penetrate that."

Rosberg moved onto 16 career wins, equalling Sir Stirling Moss' unwanted record as the driver who has won the most races without winning a title.

"I am happy to have finally won in Bahrain," said Rosberg. "I had an awesome start, it felt like a rocket launch. It was perfect and that made the race."

Belfast Telegraph

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