Rosberg out to wreck Hamilton hat-trick bid

Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:13am EDT
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By Abhishek Takle

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton can chalk up three wins in a row for the first time in his Formula One career on Sunday but Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg will be doing all he can to deny him the hat-trick.

Returning to the Chinese circuit where he took his first pole and victory in 2012, Rosberg has been runner-up in the last two races but still leads the championship by 11 points after his season-opening success in Australia.

The pair served up a thriller under the floodlights in Bahrain 10 days ago and another wheel-to-wheel duel in China would be a further boost for a sport fighting back against criticism of its new regulations.

Hamilton, the 2008 champion, is ready to do his bit.

"I'm in a really good place at the moment and walking around the garage too, you can see the positive energy within the team right now," he said in a team preview.

"I'm getting stronger every time I come to this track and it suits my driving style quite well. The aim, as always, is to win and if I could make it three in a row this weekend that would be incredible."

The Briton is one of only two drivers to have won twice in Shanghai - Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is the other - but Hamilton still has painful memories of throwing away a championship lead when he went into a gravel trap at the circuit in 2007.

Rosberg will seize on any such slip-ups. The German ended his team mate's bid for three poles in a row with the quickest lap in qualifying in Bahrain and then showed just how little separates the two on track.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (R) is congratulated by teammate Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany on the podium after he won the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir, south of Manama April 6, 2014. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani