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Mercedes F1 team pens open letter to reassure doubtful fans

PARIS (AP) The Mercedes Formula One team published an open letter to fans on Wednesday to counter speculation on social media following the Russian Grand Prix that it favors Nico Rosberg over teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton, the defending F1 champion, has endured a miserable start to the season and trails Rosberg by 43 points after four races - all of them won by Rosberg, last year's runner-up.

While Rosberg has driven smoothly as he chases his first world title, Hamilton has been beset by engine problems and the British driver also had to slow down late in Sunday's Russian GP with a water pressure issue - just as he was closing to within seven seconds of race-leader Rosberg.

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Formula 1 Leaders: Points
RankDriverPointsWins
1 N.Rosberg 100 4
2 L.Hamilton 57 0
3 K.Raikkonen 43 0
4 D.Ricciardo 36 0
5 S.Vettel 33 0
6 F.Massa 32 0
7 R.Grosjean 22 0
8 D.Kvyat 21 0
9 V.Bottas 19 0
10 M.Verstappen 13 0
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