Nico Rosberg says he is optimistic about his chances of clinching a first F1 world championship title in Abu Dhabi, despite starting the 2014 finale some 17 points behind Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

The German knows that he needs to win Sunday's race with Hamilton finishing third or worse, taking advantage of the controversial double points rule to overcome the deficit, but is also hopeful that fate can play its part in upsetting the Mercedes domination and allowing at least one rival to split the silver machines in the final result.

"It's great coming into this weekend the way Brazil went, for sure," Rosberg commented, "I was able to progress after Austin and that gives me a lot of confidence going into the weekend.

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"Of course, I am here to try and win the race and then I nee a bit of help from Lewis so that he doesn't finish second. I'm hoping Lewis can come up with something....

"A lot of things can happen, but it can happen as easy as a Williams, for example, having a great start and slotting in between us. This track is one of the most difficult to overtake at, and the speed difference you need to have to overtake the guy in front is really very big, so that would be one opportunity [for me]. But there are many scenarios and, as I say, I'm optimistic."

With Mercedes' reliability being far from perfect, and the two title contenders having already come together on track this season, Rosberg is well aware of the possibility of something untoward affecting the championship battle.

"It's an intense weekend - I wouldn't use the word 'pressure', but it's going to be intense," he reflected, "It's going to be a great battle, and I'm looking forward to it - it's what I've been working towards for a while now, this sort of chance, this last race.

"Lewis is a great competitor and opponent and it will, hopefully, be a great end to the season. I need to do what I can to put the pressure on. In Brazil, Lewis made a mistake, so there is a chance. I just need to do what I can to keep going like that."

While Hamilton played down suggestions that Mercedes team bosses would be keen to discuss the need for clean racing on Sunday, Rosberg - who stands to lose most from any on-track shenanigans - had a warning should his team-mate be considering underhand tactics to ensure he took the crown.

"Lewis can do something to keep it clean, which is to drive cleanly himself," he claimed, "It's not like he can't do anything..."