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Rosberg expects ties with Hamilton to improve

ST MARTIN Italy (Reuters) - Formula One leader Nico Rosberg expects his rocky relationship with Mercedes' team mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton to improve despite the rift between them after last weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

Rosberg won the showcase race on Sunday to retake the championship lead from Hamilton, who suggested the German had used underhand tactics to secure pole position in Saturday qualifying.

Visiting the German soccer team at their World Cup preparations in Italy on Tuesday, Rosberg said such disputes between drivers of the same team were nothing new.

"In our sport we can only have success as a team," Rosberg told a news conference. "Nothing can happen alone. I make an effort for teamwork and for the atmosphere in the team.

"It is a bit more difficult internally at the moment. But it has happened in the past as well in our sport."

Mercedes bosses have warned both drivers that they must not overstep the mark in an increasingly intense fight for the Formula One title between the pair, with the team having won every race so far this year.

"We discuss the issues and we have already discussed them and it will again be better and it will be forgotten," said Rosberg, who has known Hamilton since they were teenage team mates in go-karts.

Before the German's second victory of the season, which put him four points clear of 2008 world champion Hamilton after six of the 19 races, his British rival had won four in a row.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Alan Baldwin)

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