That is the warning of Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda, revealing that after a six-pole losing streak to Rosberg – and with the German now gunning for a third straight race win – Hamilton will be determined to lead into turn one.
Indeed, Hamilton has bemoaned the fact that, when running second to Rosberg, not only do the cars’ aerodynamics not favour overtaking, Mercedes’ race strategies always help the leading driver rather than his pursuer.
“Lewis will try everything possible to get to the first corner before Nico,” predicts Lauda, himself a former triple world champion.
“He will try even more aggressively than in the past, risking more, because he knows this is the last opportunity to win a race this year and he can do it if he takes the lead (early).
“So Nico must be careful about Lewis,” Lauda added.
When asked about Sunday’s race start, Rosberg told the German newspaper Bild: “My tactic? No matter where he (Hamilton) is, I have to make sure he stays behind me.
“That he is going to be aggressive or not doesn’t affect me,” he added.