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Title fight 'like playing poker' - Hamilton

ESPN Staff
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Lewis Hamilton says his championship fight with Nico Rosberg is the most intense of his career because of how difficult it is to beat a competitive team-mate.

Hamilton had experience of fighting a team-mate for a world title at McLaren in his debut year of 2007, though he and Fernando Alonso were pipped to the title by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen. The following year Hamilton pipped Raikkonen's team-mate Felipe Massa to the title but he says that campaign pales in comparison to 2014 because he never had to share information with the Brazilian.

"The battle does feel a lot more intense this year," said Hamilton, speaking as part of the Forever Faster campaign by Mercedes team partner PUMA. "When I was racing against Raikkonen and Massa, they were in a different team and their cars had different strengths and weaknesses to my car and, in my team, it was just me that was really competing with them.

"Now I'm racing against a guy who has the same car as me - we both have access to exactly the same data and feedback so it is really hard to try and be ahead. It's a little bit like playing poker - you have a set of cards and the other guy is not supposed to know what you got, but Nico and I can see each other's cards so then it's more difficult to beat each other."

Hamilton thinks the nature of his battle with Rosberg means the pair are both striving to improve their best at every passing race.

"It is definitely more challenging, because you have to find ways to create small margins. And so what you do is bring your skills, things that you've learned, things you can put into the mix. And you always have to move forward - you can't just be good and that will be enough, you have to keep pushing the boundaries, because every time you take a step forward the other guy makes an equal step so you have to keep doing it."

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