Title-chasing Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will struggle to stay friends this season and it may not take much for the relationship to sour, according to four-time Formula One world champion Alain Prost.

While reluctant to make too many comparisons with his own past, and his famous title duels with McLaren teammate Ayrton Senna in 1988 and 1989, the Frenchman could see some similarities. Both pairings were dominant and both were fighting for the crown.

"It is difficult," Prost said when asked how hard it was to stay on good terms with a team mate in such a battle. "One little problem inside the team, or a little bit outside, and then it (the feuding) could start really very quickly.

"It is very rare that you have a full friendship until the end. Especially if you are really fighting very hard...It looks like the team know how to approach it, but we'll see. It also depends on the characters of the drivers."

Nicknamed 'The Professor' for his calculating and analytical approach to the sport, Prost was a very different character to Senna - much as the technically minded Rosberg is to Hamilton, for whom Senna was a boyhood hero.

Mercedes have won five out of five races this season, starting all from pole, with championship leader Hamilton chasing his fifth successive win on Sunday to stretch his three-point lead over Rosberg.

Source: Reuters