Rosberg not out of it yet, insists Wolff

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Lewis Hamilton might have a 48 point lead over Nico Rosberg in the championship with just five races to go in 2015, but Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff insists Rosberg isn't out of the running yet and hasn't given up.

"The way I see him and the way I feel where he is, he has not given up. I think there is no way a driver will ever give it up unless it is mathematically not possible any more. For Nico’s case, this is what I see."

Wolff also denied that this weekend's race in Suzuka has proved once again that when it came to head-to-head battles on track, Hamilton consistently had the upper hand.

"I wouldn’t want to say that there is a tendency that when they fight, it is Lewis that comes out better. That is definitely not the case.

"I don’t think it has anything to do with being soft or not, it is very difficult to race against your team-mate."

At Suzuka, Rosberg lost out to Hamilton when the pair ran side-by-side through the opening corners. Once Hamilton got in front, Rosberg briefly dropped to fourth place and had to spend the rest of the race recovering to second but remained a long way off his team mate.

It was certainly an assertive move by Hamilton to get in front, but while Wolff stopped short of publicly endorsing the world champion's tactics he was also not about to criticise them either.

"It was a tricky situation for both because Lewis had understeer in the car and he ran out of track and two cars side-by-side through turn two is difficult anyway.

"He was very dominant, back to the momentum he had before," commented Wolff, acknowledging that Hamilton definitely had the upper hand at the moment and that this inevitably caused some tension within the team.

"We try to maintain a good relationship in the team and not have any animosity," he said. "When a driver appears to be nice, that it is seen as a weakness."

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