Wolff warns of vol­cano wait­ing to erupt

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the ri­valry be­tween team mates Lewis Hamil­ton and Nico Ros­berg is like a vol­cano ready to erupt ahead of For­mula One’s sea­son-end­ing ti­tle show­down this week­end.

The Aus­trian is, how­ever, con­fi­dent the driv­ers can avoid tak­ing each other out of Sun­day’s race at Yas Ma­rina. “It is also clear, and we have to ac­knowl­edge it, that now ev­ery­thing is on the line,” Wolff told re­porters at the Abu Dhabi cir­cuit. “Now it’s about los­ing or win­ning the driv­ers’ world cham­pi­onship. They can’t be in love with each other this week­end but they need to play all the tricks to put them­self in a sit­u­a­tion to hope­fully win the cham­pi­onship.

“You just have to re­spect that there is a fierce ri­valry, the com­pe­ti­tion is in­tense and like since 2013 we just have to try to keep it to­gether with up and downs,” Wolff said.

There have been plenty of mind games al­ready with Hamil­ton say­ing he would con­sider him­self the true cham­pion, re­gard­less of the out­come, while Ros­berg has been adamant that he is just fo­cused on the race.

“It’s nor­mal that here this is like a vol­cano to erupt with two of them, the two very dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties. One is go­ing to dig a lit­tle deeper, the other one is go­ing to do it in a dif­fer­ent way,” Wolff added. Ros­berg is 12 points clear of Hamil­ton in the stand­ings, mean­ing that he has only to fin­ish on the podium to take his first ti­tle re­gard­less of other re­sults. A re­tire­ment by triple world cham­pion Hamil­ton dur­ing the race, whether it be due to me­chan­i­cal fail­ure or a col­li­sion, would hand the Ger­man the ti­tle there and then.

For­mula One ti­tles have been set­tled be­fore by a col­li­sion be­tween the con­tenders-think Ayr­ton Senna and Alain Prost or Michael Schu­macher with Da­mon Hill and Jac­ques Vil­leneuve-but Wolff played down that like­li­hood.

“There are some ex­am­ples in the past that have been very prom­i­nent and very con­tro­ver­sial. Lewis’s hero (Senna), and the other way around,” he said.

“I think it is very dif­fi­cult to con­struct such a sit­u­a­tion and make it work. I don’t think that’s the way Nico op­er­ates and it would cer­tainly not look very good. There are so many un­knowns at the mo­ment. It’s about re­li­a­bil­ity and fin­ish­ing the race for both of them.

“It is about qual­i­fy­ing, who is in the lead and how the race is go­ing to pan out, that I don’t think any­one of them is se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing play­ing that way,

Toto Wolff

be­cause it could come out com­pletely dif­fer­ent.” — Reuters

ANA­HEIM: Ana­heim Ducks cen­ter Rickard Rakell (67) and Chicago Black­hawks de­fense­man Dun­can Keith (2) chase the puck in the sec­ond pe­riod of an NHL hockey game in Ana­heim, Calif., Fri­day. — AP

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