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Hamilton: Rivalry with Rosberg ‘does feel a lot more intense this year’

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2014 Formula 1 world championship second-half to lands in Belgium this weekend after a summer break, and title rivals Lewis Hamilton has compare his tussle for this season’s Formula One title with Mercedes colleague Nico Rosberg to a game of poker.

Nico now has an 11-point lead over his nearest title rival Hamilton with eight races of the season remaining and their competition has become increasingly heated over the course of the season.

Hamilton disobeyed team orders by rejecting to permit Rosberg to pass him during last month’s Hungarian Grand Prix, and he admits that there is an edge to his relationship with the German.

“The battle does feel a lot more intense this year,” Hamilton said. “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’ve got, but Nico and I can see each other’s cards so then it’s more difficult to beat each other.”

The Briton added: “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.

“You always have to move forward – you can’t just be good, 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.”