Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff says he is happy to step back and allow Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton to embark on what he anticipates will be a thrilling end to their 2016 Formula 1 title battle.
A win for Rosberg at this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix will suffice for him to be crowned F1 champion for the first time, but a success for Hamilton at Interlagos will take it down to the final round in Abu Dhabi.
Regardless, with 19 points between the top two, a pair of second place finishes for Rosberg in the two races would ultimately be enough for him to seal the title, but Wolff doesn't expect him to play safe in Brazil.
“All this talk of just needing to finish second in order to make it to the end is over. He has it in his hands. If he wins the race in Brazil, he is Champion. We've seen many races, particularly in the second half of this season, where he has coped well under pressure.
“But, mentally, I think this new situation is actually a bit easier in terms of tackling the situation with a little less pressure, as he still has another chance in Abu Dhabi."
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Despite Rosberg's comfortable advantage, Wolff is not ruling out Hamilton's chances either following his dominant performances in Austin and Mexico.
“Equally, Lewis knows what he must do to keep his title hopes alive. He will never back down and that's what makes him one of the great ones. He has three Championships and 51 victories under his belt - and no matter the outcome this year, we all know there will be more to come. It's a really interesting dynamic and great for the fans."
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Though patchy reliability on Hamilton's side has been a controversial footnote to the title fight this year, Wolff is confident it will not be a lingering factor for either driver in Brazil or Abu Dhabi.
“As a team, we will do all in our power to provide both with the opportunities they need. We're maxed out on performance, as is normal at the end of a regulation cycle, and when that happens everything becomes more marginal. This is where we find ourselves right now, so we must remain focused on every last detail.”
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