12 November 2014
F1: Rosberg 'in good shape' for Abu Dhabi showdown
Despite not having fate in his own hands, F1 title hopeful Nico Rosberg remains optimistic as he looks forward to the Abu Dhabi finale.
Nico Rosberg will head to the F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi confident that he can steal the 2014 championship crown from under the nose of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The German, who trailed his rival by 24 points before victory in Brazil reduced the deficit to just 17, knows that the controversial 'double score' system in place for the finale means that Hamilton will have to work for the title, and is boosted by his own performance at Interlagos, where he dominated proceedings to claim a fifth win of the season.
“I'm in good shape,” he insisted when asked who had the advantage heading to Yas Marina, “A win like today [in Brazil], beating Lewis in that way, is very good for me.
“But Abu Dhabi is a race of its own and I'll be going there just as I have been in the last couple of races, feeling great about it and going for the win. That's what's important and then I'll see if it's enough or not.”
Asked whether he sees trailing his team-mate as a disadvantage, regardless of the extra points on offer at the final round, Rosberg reiterated that he would have only one goal, as the rest was down to fate on the day. Hamilton spun will in pursuit of the German at Interlagos on Sunday, but Rosberg knows that there are few weak points in his rival's game right now.
“No disadvantage,” he maintained, “I am full attack, as I was this weekend - and as I was in Austin. It is going well, but I need to try and win and I will do that. Then we will see what happens. In racing, so much can happen, so I can just hope.”
With little to touch the potent Mercedes W05 Hybrid this season, Hamilton could afford to finish second to Rosberg and still take the title, but the German remains hopeful that, should both cars remain reliable – which has not always been the case in 2014 – another team could emerge as a contender for the higher podium places. If Rosberg wins and Hamilton finishes outside the top two, the German would complete a dramatic reversal of fortune in the standings to win the crown by three.
“It would be awesome if [Williams] could find some magical form and somehow get by [Hamilton],” Rosberg smiled, “It is difficult to pass the Williams because they are so quick on the straights but, at the same time, our car is so quick, it's not very likely [that a Williams finishes second].
“They are a realistic threat with the top speed that they have and Abu Dhabi, night race, maybe the degradation is not as high because of the cooler temperatures. That could help the Williams, so maybe some factors could play into my hands.”
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