The only way Lewis can win
Mercedes star duo set for title decider at the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
It is little wonder that in recent days there has been a permanent smile on the face of Nico Rosberg. For much of the last three years the German has been forced to play second fiddle to Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes have dominated the rest of the F1 field.
But finally the 31-year-old is set to have his moment as even a third place finish and a Hamilton victory would see Rosberg win his first world title.
Just days ago Rosberg spoke of his “growing confidence” as he edges near to the final race of the season. And why not, Yas Marina Circuit may well provide a visually stunning backdrop but the track itself is unremarkable.
“The first few turns are quite good, but the rest of it is rubbish,” was the assessment of Kimi Raikkonen when he first experienced the track in 2009.
Certainly the Abu Dhabi race seems best suited for the sheer pace of Mercedes and it is unlikely Rosberg and Hamilton will be challenged by the other teams.
Therefore Hamilton may well have to rely on car troubles for Rosberg, which has not happened at all this season, or hope his teammates chances are derailed by another driver. Even Jenson Button joked that the only way Hamilton is likely to win a fourth world title would be if someone runs Rosberg off the track. “Well, unless one of us crashes into him. I mean, Lewis is very rich and has a lot of money, flies around in a private jet, so I’m sure he can afford to pay me,” said Hamilton’s fellow Brit. “The only possibility, however, would be when Nico laps me because we’re not fast enough. Anyway, I’m open to offers. And anyway, I’m retiring… sorry, taking a sabbatical.” It certainly makes for grim reading for Hamilton who himself has played down his chances of miraculously defending his world title. “It’s not been a perfect season and I’m faced with pretty impossible odds no matter what I do this weekend,” was the assessment of Hamilton. Certainly it seems as though the race in Abu Dhabi could become a two-hour victory parade for Rosberg. The German will not take anything for granted and will want to finish the season in style, but the title is in his hands. Having excelled throughout the season it would be fitting for Rosberg to be flanked by fireworks once again in the UAE capital, this time celebrating a world title triumph.