Con­fi­dent Nico ready for duel in the desert

Ros­berg feels he can win maiden F1 ti­tle in Abu Dhabi

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

For the sec­ond time in three years Nico Ros­berg will ar­rive in the UAE know­ing that he can win a maiden For­mula One ti­tle in Abu Dhabi.

Back in 2014 the Ger­man trailed his Mercedes team­mate Lewis Hamil­ton by 17 points af­ter the Bri­ton had five wins in the pre­vi­ous six races.

With dou­ble points on of­fer Ros­berg qual­i­fied in pole po­si­tion but was let down by his car as en­gine prob­lems led to him fin­ish­ing down in 14th place.

This time around it is Ros­berg who holds the ad­van­tage. Even if he fin­ishes in third and Hamil­ton wins he will land the ti­tle thanks to his 12-point ad­van­tage head­ing into the fi­nal race of the sea­son at Yas Ma­rina Cir­cuit.

“Noth­ing in this sport is easy, so this won’t be any dif­fer­ent and I still have to go all out for a good re­sult,” said Ros­berg. “But 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. “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.”

Hamil­ton has ad­mit­ted that he is fac­ing “pretty im­pos­si­ble odds” to over­come his team­mate, but Mercedes chief Toto Wolff still be­lieves there will be an im­mense bat­tle on Sun­day evening.

“We have one very im­por­tant fi­nal duty this sea­son – to give Nico and Lewis the plat­form they need to bat­tle it out to the flag,” said Wolff. “Both of them have been ex­cep­tional and ei­ther one would make a wor­thy cham­pion.

“It’s been a gru­elling year for us all, with a record-break­ing cal­en­dar and the added chal­lenge of a new reg­u­la­tion set to pre­pare for in 2017. “Af­ter such a bat­tle of en­durance, the win­ner can say with­out doubt that they have earned it.”

The Abu Dhabi race week­end starts on Fri­day at 1pm, with qual­i­fy­ing get­ting un­der way on Satur­day at 5pm and the race start­ing on Sun­day also at 5pm.

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