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Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg on Lewis Hamilton rivalry and Singapore Grand Prix

Are relations tense between Rosberg and Hamilton?
How F1 driver Nico Rosberg is staying focused

Are Formula One drivers, and Mercedes teammates, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton friends off the racing track?

Not at all, the 31-year-old German told CNBC in an interview ahead of Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix.

"We have a neutral relationship," said Rosberg, who is currently neck-and-neck with Hamilton in the race to win the 2016 Drivers Championship, with only two points separating them.

With just seven races left in the 2016 race calendar, the rivalry between him and Hamilton is set to intensify as they take to the Marina Bay Street Circuit - a prospect that excites Rosberg.

"That's what I do racing for, for battles like that, and Lewis, of course, is the [defending] world champion. He's one of the best out there [and] it's great to go up against him."

Hamilton has the upper hand, after winning the Singapore Grand Prix in 2009 and 2014, while Rosberg is still searching for his first victory on the circuit.

Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP celebrates his win on the podium during the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 4, 2016 in Monza, Italy.
Charles Coates | Getty Images

He was, however, upbeat about his chances this weekend, praising the "awesome" Mercedes race cars. But the hot, humid weather would likely be a challenge that both he, and Hamilton, would have to overcome.

"It's definitely one of the less enjoyable races because it gets so extremely hot in the car, and towards the end of the race, it's quite a torture," he said.

They would also have to overcome stiff competition from rival teams Ferrari and Red Bull Racing, whose drivers took the top three places in the Singapore race last year. While Rosberg had finished fourth, Hamilton did not complete the race.

While its drivers battle for glory on the individual drivers championship table, Mercedes has amassed a huge lead over Red Bull Racing and Ferrari in the team performance table.

The constructors' championship is a crucial determinant of the total prize money a team gets from competing in F1 races. The higher a team finishes on the table, the more monetary rewards they reap.

"Everybody [on the team] gets bonus money on that result, so that is the most important thing," said Rosberg.

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