IBTimes UK

World champion Lewis Hamilton has revealed that there is "real" friction between him and his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

The two drivers were going head-to-head for the driver's championship last two seasons, but it was the British F1 star who managed to beat his teammate on both occasions. The two are the favourites to once again have a face off for the championship this season.

Hamilton and Rosberg are the only two drivers challenging for the driver's championship in the last two years. Mercedes driver remains hopeful that this season they will be other drivers who can join the mix.

"It is there. But it is a small fire that everybody pours a lot of gasoline on to make it bigger. And then, of course, also me and Nico, we unintentionally pour more gasoline on to the fire depending on who is winning a race. So it is real - a real competition," Hamilton told F1's official website.

"I hope it is not purely a 'Lewis and Nico show' - I hope Ferrari gets involved in that show and that we will have fierce competition beyond me and Nico."

Rosberg won the last three races of the 2015 season and that has provided him the momentum for the new season. Hamilton had won the championship long before the season was over and Mercedes driver admitted that he did not give his best, but claims he is focused on winning the title once again this year.

"Honestly it was good for him at the end of the year. I had good races - I got the points. I did not do the bare minimum, but I did what I needed to do to finish the year. I didn't do what I had to do to win the championship because I already had won the championship," the British driver explained.

"If you fight for the championship you have to bring that extra five or ten percent - after I had bagged the title I didn't need that anymore.

"I used my energy elsewhere. But now my sole focus is again on winning the title - but Nico also has grown, so I have to accept that he is exceptionally fast and so I also have to lift my bar again. I don't know how - but that is my goal."