Formula One finale: Advantage Rosberg | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 24.11.2016
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Formula One finale: Advantage Rosberg

Nico Rosberg will be aiming to win his first drivers' championship in the season's final F1 race in Abu Dhabi this weekend. If it isn't him, it will be his Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton, who will take the title.

For the Formula One circuit, it is hard to imagine a better scenario for the final race of the 2016 season; it has all come down to a duel between Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg (pictured above, left) and Lewis Hamilton (above right) to decide the drivers' championship.

Rosberg has seen Hamilton chip away at what was a 33-point lead in the drivers' standings following the Japanese Grand Prix, winning in Austin, Mexico City and Interlagos to cut the German's advantage to just 12 points going into Sunday's day-into-night race in Abu Dhabi. But having spent a few days off with his family and friends, Rosberg appeared relaxed at Thursday's press conference  - despite the recent trend.

Rosberg, who has had almost no technical problems this campaign, told reporters that he planned to approach the 21st race of the season the way he has all of the others.

"I will give it everything to end the season with a win," he said. "I have great memories from winning at this track last year and it's somewhere I've usually been strong in the past, so I have every reason to feel confident," he said, referring to last year's first-place finish on the Yas Marina Course.

"The closer it gets, the more I'm feeling excited. It will be a big battle and hopefully the fans will get a great show to end the year," he added.

For his part, Hamilton, who has experienced a few technical setbacks this season, including having his engine blow while he was in the lead at last month's Malaysian Grand Prix, pledged to fight until the very end.

"It's not been a perfect season and I'm faced with pretty impossible odds no matter what I do this weekend," the Briton said.  "But I can't and won't give up. You never know what might happen - however unlikely it may seem."

Hamilton too appeared quite relaxed, and more than a year after "Capgate," the two drivers, who became childhood friends after meeting on the go-cart track, expressed their  mutual respect for each other.

If anything could unsettle Rosberg at all, it might be the fact that he has failed to convert on two previous matchballs, failing to clinch the title in either Mexico or Brazil.

However, the scales are still heavily tipped in his favor. Even if Hamilton wins on Sunday, Rosberg will take the title with a third-place finish or better. If Hamilton finishes second, Rosberg will only have to finish sixth; a third-place finish for the Briton would mean the German would only have to cross the finish line in eighth. Should Hamilton finish fourth or better, Rosberg will win his first drivers' championship, emulating his father Keke, who won the title in 1982.


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