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HAMILTON LAUGHS OFF RUMOURS OF ROSBERG RECOVERY.

Byline: FROM BYRON YOUNG in Barcelona

LEWIS HAMILTON blasted team-mate Nico Rosberg ahead of tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix, claiming the German is no threat.

The champion lashed out as he targeted a fourth win in five races to stretch his 27-point world championship lead.

As Hamilton prepares to roar further into the pages of history, Rosberg is working to recover his battered credibility.

But claims he will bring his 'A game' and a winning blitz as he did last summer earned short shrift from Hamilton yesterday.

"If he is saying he brought his best game last year then I don't really have too much to worry about," he said.

The German has won eight Grands Prix in his career - chicken-feed in Hamilton's terms. The Brit is already fifth in the all-time winners list on 36 and before the season is out he will surely climb above both Sebastian Vettel and his idol Ayrton Senna to third.

A rich vein of form has evolved from Mercedes' decision to give Hamilton his head rather than rein him in as McLaren tended to do.

"I am probably the happiest I have been for a long, long time," explained Hamilton. "Career-wise and then outside of that, too.

"It's great when you can do things you want knowing they are not a distraction."

The only potential bump in the road is the contract talks which threaten to set their own record, approaching a year in the making.

Mercedes overlord Niki Lauda insisted: "There is no hitch, there is a delay and I can't say any more."

But sources report the world champion has sought the ear of the sport's billionaire promoter Bernie Ecclestone amid feverish speculation that the delay in reaching a deal points to a move to Maranello.

Ecclestone was equally elusive yesterday, saying: "Lewis will be in the right place next season."

CAPTION(S):

DISMISSIVE Hamilton is writing off Rosberg

DEFIANT Rosberg says he is still a contender

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 9, 2015
Words:325
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