Nico Rosberg heads into the finale at the Yas Marina circuit with a 12-point lead and a strong record in Abu Dhabi. Lewis Hamilton goes into the race as the underdog, but this season has shown that anything can happen and despite their dominance, Mercedes have suffered mechanical failure on more than one occasion.
Ahead of the race that could see Rosberg claim his first World Championship, the German has suggested that the prospect of winning the title is at the back of his mind and that he will instead, treat this race like any other.
“I will give it everything to end the season with a win. In Brazil, after the race, I was joking that I would still be taking things one race at a time. But, the more I think about it, the more that’s actually not as crazy as it sounds.
I have to treat this like any other race. Doing a good job on a grand prix weekend is always a challenge.”
– Nico Rosberg
Pop psychology aside, Rosberg will definitely be feeling the pressure heading into this weekend – the question remains whether this level of pressure will creep in and affect his pace on Sunday.
On the other side of the garage, Lewis Hamilton knows that nothing short of victory and a 4th or lower result from his teammate will give him a fourth World title.
“It’s not been a perfect season and I’m faced with pretty impossible odds no matter what I do this weekend. But I can’t and won’t give up. You never know what might happen – however unlikely it may seem.
I’m approaching this weekend the same as I do every race. I want to win and I’ll give it everything to finish the season on a high.”
– Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes, as ever, have insisted that the drivers “will be allowed to race”, which would be great given that we’ve hardly seen an on-track battle between the Silver Arrows all season.