LEWIS HAMILTON will be feeling "angry" at finishing behind George Russell this season, according to former foe Nico Rosberg.
The seven-time F1 world champion, 37, has endured a nightmare start to the season, most-recently finishing 13th at the Emilia-Romagna GP in his "undriveable" Mercedes.
In fact, Hamilton has finished behind Russell, 24, in three of the four races this season, with Rosberg claiming his former team-mate will be fuming.
Hamilton and Rosberg were fierce rivals during their four years together at Mercedes between 2013 and 2016
And Rosberg has now told Sky Sports: “It’s definitely a very tough situation for Lewis.
“He’s won a race in every season of his career and it looks like maybe this will be the year when he can’t win anymore.
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“You can see how the tension is rising and that’s natural.
"Lewis will obviously start to show those emotions a little bit.
“Nevertheless, with the experience he has I think he will eventually manage to keep those under control.
"Let’s not forget also Lewis hates ending up behind his team-mate."
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Rosberg explained: “Even if you’re 11th or 13th he really passionately hates coming in behind his team-mate.
"It makes him very angry.
"That also happened at Imola in qualifying and the sprint race…
"It will put the tension up a lot, especially in the engineering room where Lewis will be pushing harder and harder.
"It will be interesting to watch how that unfolds.”
Hamilton finished third in Bahrain – the opening race of the 2022 season – with Russell, enjoying his first season as a Mercedes driver, coming in fourth.
But since then, the youngster has won the battle of the team-mates in every race, coming fifth, third and fourth to the veteran's results of tenth, fourth and 13th.
Rosberg knows what it takes to beat Hamilton – and knows how he reacts to it.
The retired German, 36, out-qualified Hamilton in 36 of their 78 races together and won 22 Grands Prix.
Rosberg even won one World Championship title while partnering Hamilton at Mercedes.
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Russell trails both Red Bull drivers, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, as well as Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in the standings this season and looks unlikely to challenge for a debut title.
But outperforming Hamilton in his first season at Mercedes following his years at Williams would be no mean feat – and one legend Gerhard Berger has hinted "will soon get on Hamilton's nerves".
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