dailypheamMANAMA: Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton says he has no concerns about Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg’s five-race winning streak or his own poor starts this season.

The Briton, who has not won a race since clinching his third title in Texas last October, told reporters he felt psychologically stronger than ever despite the setbacks. “This is a psychological game, for sure,” Hamilton told reporters after finishing third in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix despite starting on pole position for the second race in a row.

Referencing boxing legend Mohammad Ali’s ‘Rope a Dope’ tactics in the 1974 ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ heavyweight title fight against George Foreman, Hamilton suggested Rosberg’s early season victories might not count for anything in the end.

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“You can’t win them all,” he added. “Not that this is the same, but Mohammad Ali with that Rumble in the Jungle, he got the dude to believe that he was winning and he didn’t. So anything can happen.”

Hamilton is now 17 points behind Rosberg, but 19 races remain in a championship with more rounds than ever.

He had looked a good bet for a third successive win in Bahrain after seizing pole with the fastest ever lap around the Sakhir circuit but once again lost out at the start.

Rosberg led through the first corner and romped away untroubled, while Hamilton was hit broadside by the Williams of Finland’s Valtteri Bottas and had to fight back from seventh.

“I honestly am just really grateful that I was able to continue to get third place, considering it could have been a million times worse than that,” added Hamilton.