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Hamilton: Title race 'alive'

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 31-05-2016 skysports.com
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Lewis Hamilton says his Monaco GP victory means the world championship fight is "alive", after he cut Nico Rosberg's advantage to 24 points. 

After a problem-filled start to his attempt to win a fourth F1 title, Hamilton would have slipped the points equivalent of two race victories behind in the Drivers' Championship had Rosberg, one place ahead of him on last Sunday's grid, won in Monaco for the fourth consecutive year.

But, after a rain-affected race of numerous twists and turns, Hamilton emerged victorious while his Mercedes team-mate finished only seventh - meaning the German's advantage was cut to just 24 points with 15 races to go

A race victory is worth 25 points.

Asked by Sky Sports News HQ if he was now able to exert more pressure on Rosberg as a result of the reduced points gap, Hamilton replied: "I can only speak on his behalf of being in that position before and, for sure, it was a bigger cushion before and it was much easier.

Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty

"He's still got a win [advantage] but, of course, the race is alive - so much can happen."

But while the Mercedes drivers are again poised to engage in a close battle for the 2016 title, Hamilton has stressed the team's more urgent priority is to sure-up their car's reliability after more small problems in Monaco.

The world champion says the team must become "more united than ever before" in an attempt to ward off growing threats from rivals. Red Bull won in Spain and claimed pole in Monaco, with only a botched pit-stop on Sunday costing Daniel Ricciardo race victory.

"Really, for us as a team, we need to work hard because now we have more pressure we've started to buckle a little bit and make mistakes here and there," Hamilton said after both cars were hit by fuel-pressure issues in qualifying last Saturday.

"This is a time where we really need to come more united than ever before and try to pull together to make that foundation just as solid as possible. The others are also fumbling and making mistakes, but the team that makes the least is going to be the one that wins."

Meanwhile, after winning the season's opening four races, Rosberg has now scored just six points since the Russian GP at the start of the month.

The 30-year-old says he was never expecting his season to be completely plain sailing, but wants to understand why he struggled so badly for pace in Monaco ahead of next week's Canadian GP.

"It was never going to be realistic to keep winning all the time, that's for sure," Rosberg told SSNHQ. "That was always clear in my mind.

"I have enough experience in this sport to know the sport will always go up and down. A tough day for sure, especially as I don't understand it yet and that's an even more difficult thing.

"After that [analysis of what happened] close the chapter, onto Montreal and keep fighting."

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