Friday, February 24, 2017

Hamilton or Rosberg? Formula 1 title winner to be decided at Abu Dhabi GP

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team’s German driver Nico Rosberg (L) and British driver Lewis Hamilton (R) pose for a picture during the drivers press conference ahead of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit. Pic/AFP

Abu Dhabi: The battle for the Formula One title between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will finally be decided in Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with the Mercedes pair set to fight it out in one final duel in the desert.

The former childhood friends head into the twilight race at the floodlit Yas Marina circuit just 12 points apart at the end of a record-breaking 21-race season.

Rosberg leads and heads into the race as the clear favourite to wrap up a maiden title triumph. With only a maximum of 25 points up for grabs, all the German needs is a third place finish.

This is the closest he has ever been to following in his 1982 world champion father Keke’s footsteps. But the 31-year-old made it clear that, like he has all season, he heads into Sunday’s race going for the win.

“It’s not going to make me go faster to have such thoughts about something that might or might not happen in the future,” Rosberg, sitting alongside Hamilton but declining to shake hands with his rival, told reporters in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

Hamilton, meanwhile, has a mountain to climb. The Briton, who has also won nine races this year, has borne the brunt of the German marque’s reliability issues, which have hobbled his bid for a fourth championship crown and has to finish in the top three, if he is to have any chance of clinching a fourth title.

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