Nico to keep it sim­ple

> Ros­berg blocks out ti­tle talk in Mex­ico

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

NICO ROS­BERG plans to block out all thoughts of a pos­si­ble maiden ti­tle tri­umph and fo­cus on stick­ing to his sin­gu­lar and sim­ple ap­proach when he bids to claim his 10th win of the year in this week­end’s Mex­i­can Grand Prix.

The 31-year-old, who will be­come cham­pion if he wins and Mercedes team­mate and ti­tle ri­val Lewis Hamil­ton fails to score a point, has said he is aware of all the equa­tions and pos­si­ble out­comes.

But, he stressed, he will aim only to keep things sim­ple and con­cen­trate on re­peat­ing his vic­tory of last year when For­mula One re­turned to the noisy and at­mo­spheric Au­to­dromo Her­manos Ro­driguez for the first time since 1992.

In front of a packed crowd that day, Ros­berg eased some of the pain from los­ing out to Hamil­ton in the ti­tle race by se­cur­ing a well-judged vic­tory.

Some­thing sim­i­lar cou­pled with an­other Hamil­ton re­tire­ment would see him take the English­man’s crown on Sun­day.

“Of course I’m aware of that,” he said. “It’s an ob­vi­ous cal­cu­la­tion which ev­ery­body is telling me and it’s great, but the ap­proach is keep it sim­ple – just look for the race win.”

Ros­berg will ar­rive in Mex­ico with a 26point lead over Hamil­ton in the ti­tle race and three races re­main­ing.

That means that if he wins he will in­crease his tally to an unas­sail­able ad­van­tage of 51 if the three-time de­fend­ing cham­pion is un­done by an­other en­gine fail­ure, poor start or other me­chan­i­cal prob­lem. For Hamil­ton, and his race team of Mercedes me­chan­ics, the over-rid­ing pres­sure, as it was dur­ing his flaw­less drive to vic­tory in the United States Grand Prix in Texas, is to fin­ish with­out any set­backs.

In the 18 events to date, he has been af­fected by at least three poor starts, five en­gine or en­gine-re­lated me­chan­i­cal prob­lems, one race when he was pe­nalised for his en­gine fail­ures that re­quired new power units and one crash, with Ros­berg, in Spain.

Ros­berg has also suf­fered mis­for­tunes, but not to the same ex­tent and many Hamil­ton sup­port­ers be­lieve he has lost a min­i­mum of 40 points as a re­sult.

Some be­lieve, also, that the law of av­er­ages will de­liver at least an­other twist that may see Ros­berg suf­fer a DNF (Did Not Fin­ish).

Hamil­ton said he has kept his mo­ti­va­tion in­tact de­spite his poor run and was boosted by vis­it­ing the Mercedes fac­tory in Bri­tain be­fore fly­ing to the United States.

“I’ve tried to keep a pos­i­tive men­tal­ity,” he said. “There are still points avail­able, any­thing is pos­si­ble. The mo­ment you give up, that’s the mo­ment you’re doomed.I’ve never given up all my life, I don’t plan on do­ing so now.”

Both Mercedes driv­ers know that they face a ro­bust chal­lenge from the Red Bull team who are con­fi­dent they have re­duced the cham­pi­ons’ ad­van­tage and can mount a serious bid for vic­tory. How­ever, given the Mex­i­can cir­cuit’s long straight, Mercedes are ex­pected to en­joy su­pe­rior power and take ad­van­tage, but it is un­cer­tain if that will be enough to al­low their driv­ers a clear scrap for vic­tory – and pos­si­bly the cham­pi­onship. – AFP

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