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JUNE 14, 2013

Rosberg's pace has surprised Hamilton says Wolff

Lewis Hamilton has been "surprised" by the pace of teammate Nico Rosberg at Mercedes early this season.

That is the claim of team director and co-owner Toto Wolff, even though the comments directly contradict a recent statement by the 2008 world champion.

In the wake of Rosberg's pole hat-trick and Monaco win, Hamilton insisted he "expected him (Rosberg) to be even stronger than he has been" in 2013 due to his long experience with the Brackley based team.

But Wolff is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace as admitting Hamilton "probably was surprised by Nico's pace".

"A lot had been written about it not being clear what Nico's pace was (in 2010-2012) compared to Michael (Schumacher).

"Now, he (Rosberg) has proved that he is really fast, and it's surprised Lewis -- but I don't think it's a problem," added Wolff.

Indeed, he insists Hamilton is also strong.

"We saw just how much in Canada, where he would have been on pole if not for the braking error. I think we will see great races from Lewis. I have no doubt.

"I don't think there's any reason to say that he's having a problem or difficulties. It's too early in the season.

"He's just starting with the team while Nico has been here for years," said Wolff.