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Button: Rivalry to boil over

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Jenson Button

Jenson Button

Jenson Button

Jenson Button is fully expecting the intra-team rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to hot up in the wake of Mercedes' dominant start to the new season.

After Rosberg cruised to victory in the opening race in Australia two weeks ago, Hamilton followed suit in Malaysia on Sunday as he left his rivals trailing in his wake, including the 28-year-old German in second place.

For the first time in Hamilton's 131-Grand Prix career he completed F1's grand chelem of pole position, fastest lap and race win by virtue of leading every lap, such was his superiority.

With Mercedes seemingly in a class of their own at the moment after adapting more rapidly to the new regulations than their rivals, the battle between Hamilton and Rosberg could be a captivating one.

"It is too early to say whether one of them will win the world championship this year," said Button. "Mercedes do have a big advantage, and an intra-team battle is always going to be fun when they have that advantage over the rest of the field.

"Let's see what happens. It could help us."

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff concedes the drivers have been warned as to their on-track behaviour, although knows the team will not always be able to keep a lid on matters.

"The rivalry has been there since the beginning," said Wolff. "What makes the difference is these two guys have known each other for such a long time, have a fair relationship with each other."

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