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Hamilton: Mercedes don't want Vettel-Leclerc rivalry

Hamilton: Mercedes don't want Vettel-Leclerc rivalry

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Hamilton: Mercedes don't want Vettel-Leclerc rivalry

Hamilton: Mercedes don't want Vettel-Leclerc rivalry

Lewis Hamilton does not expect growing tensions between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc to benefit Mercedes, provided Ferrari can maintain their current trend of performance.

Leclerc has secured four consecutive pole positions heading to Japan this weekend, converting two into victories in Belgium and Italy.

Vettel took victory in Singapore after a favourable strategy that annoyed Leclerc, with relations becoming more strained when the German ignored team orders in an attempt to keep hold of the lead in Russia last time out – a row that proved immaterial as Vettel's retirement preceded Hamilton leading a Mercedes one-two in Sochi.

Speaking in Suzuka, Leclerc said that the plan in Sochi had not been made clear enough to the drivers, but both were keen to move on after more radio rants in Russia.

When asked if Vettel and Leclerc's rivalry could benefit Mercedes, Hamilton said: "No, because I don't think we need help. That's not the way I look at things.

"We want them to be at their best so we can challenge them at their best and ultimately if we beat them it just makes it better.

"There's been a lot of noise made after the last race. But I saw Seb after the race and he looked like he was in a harmonious place.

"They are a formidable force, they are doing an incredible job at the moment and they are going to be very hard to beat in these remaining races and they've clicked this package.

"It's interesting to see how that evolves into next year's car.

"So I think hopefully we'll have an even closer season next year. These next five races will be interesting to see how that relationship evolves."

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