Lewis Hamilton (left) appears to have the early edge over teammate Nico Rosberg (right). (Photo: Getty Images)

(left) appears to have the early edge over teammate (right). (Photo: Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton says he doesn’t feel that he has asserted himself over Nico Rosberg, despite earning another pole in China today, thus giving himself a great chance of securing a third straight win.

Rosberg was down in fourth, some 1.3 seconds off his Mercedes teammate.

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“I don’t feel it’s shifted in my favor,” said Hamilton. “Nico is driving really well, and he’s pushing me hard, keeping me on my toes. I’m working as hard as I can. I think we’re going to see from race to race, sometimes he’s going to be quicker, and I’m going to be quicker, as we saw last year. I’ve generally gone quite well here, but then for example Bahrain he’s generally been stronger there, particularly last year.

“My job this was to close the gap a little bit, which I did. It wasn’t half a second like it was last year in qualifying, it was three-tenths, or two-tenths. But what I’m really trying to focus on are those circuits where maybe I am weaker or not as close to him, I want to make sure I close that gap. So damage limitation on those races. I think last weekend was one of those races.”

Regarding the gap to Rosberg in Shanghai qualifying he said: “You have to ask Nico what happened with him, but he had that spin I think. If you put his sectors together I think he was three or four tenths behind, so not as a big a gap. Also the qualifying lap [when] I got pole, I lost quite a lot of time on the lap, so there was more time there.”