Hamilton class lessens early advantage - Rosberg

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Nico Rosberg claims having Lewis Hamilton as his team-mate lessens the advantage of having won the first three races of the season.

Hamilton has won the last two drivers' championships, taking the title with three races to spare in 2015 as Rosberg failed to mount a significant challenge as he had in 2014. However, since last year's championship was decided, Rosberg has won every race to make it six in a row so far.

When it was put to him that he is the tenth driver to win the opening three races of the season and the previous nine have all won the title, Rosberg replied: "But they didn’t have Lewis Hamilton as their team-mate, those other nine.

"I don’t see it that way at all. It’s a handful of races now and it’s gone really well. It’s the longest season in F1 history. Lewis Hamilton, my team-mate, [triple] world champion, hard to beat in the previous two/three years. So it’s going to be a great battle and I look forwards to it.

"Of course I have a little bit of an advantage now, which is good. Better that way than the other way. That’s it really. I’m enjoying it and want to make the most of it and I’m looking forward to Sochi very soon already."

And Rosberg describes his team-mate as "the benchmark" in F1 following his recent success.

"It is too early to make any summaries. It is three races now and they have gone well for me but it is the longest season in F1 history with 21 races, 18 to go. It makes no sense to make any conclusions even if the start is good or bad. I am happy with the way it has gone and I am feeling good and the car is there. I can’t say more than that.

"We will see. Lewis is not many points behind, 30 or so points, it is not much – it is a race and a bit. He is as focused and motivated as ever, he will never give up, he is the benchmark and he has been for the last years. The battle will be a big battle as always."

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