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Hamilton up for the chase in Malaysian GP

Press Association logoPress Association 1/10/2016 Philip Duncan

Lewis Hamilton believes he has less to lose than his sole Formula One title rival Nico Rosberg as he wrestles to get his stuttering championship campaign back on track.

Hamilton has been cast eight points adrift of Rosberg after seeing his Mercedes teammate clinch a hat-trick of consecutive wins - including a crushing victory last time out in Singapore.

While the Briton showed signs of a resurgence in the sweltering Malaysian heat on Friday after he clocked the fastest time in practice for Sunday's grand prix, it would appear imperative for him to return to winning ways here with only six rounds left.

The historical odds, however, are stacked against Hamilton.

Rosberg won the opening four rounds of the season, while his latest run of victories has taken him to eight for the year.

No driver has achieved such a record without going on to win the title.

''Perhaps when you are in the lead it can be more positive, but the downfall can be bigger,'' said Hamilton, who was one quarter of a second faster than Rosberg on Friday.

''When you are behind you have less to lose, so the hunt is potentially more exciting, but I don't find it harder in either scenario.''

Hamilton failed to trouble the top of the timesheets during an off-colour weekend in Singapore, so he will be buoyed by his display in practice at the Sepang International Circuit on Friday.

The world champion's best lap of one minute and 34.944 seconds saw him finish ahead of Rosberg with the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen third and fourth respectively.

"That was a good day with no issues to report, and we got through our run plans in both sessions," Hamilton added.

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