Rosberg still optimistic about F1 title thanks to double points

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Nico Rosberg has said that he is still optimistic about his chances of winning the 2014 Formula 1 drivers’ championship despite trailing title rival and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by 24 points at the top of the standings.

Without a win since the German Grand Prix in July, Rosberg has seen his championship hopes take a number of hits as Hamilton appears to be in some of the best form of his career.

After winning in the United States last weekend, the Briton has now won 10 races in 2014 – more than twice as many as Rosberg, who has just four to his name.

For 2014 though, the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi is worth double points, giving the race winner 50 instead of the normal 25. As a result, Hamilton cannot win the championship in Brazil this weekend as he would have been able to without the controversial regulation.

Although some have said that a victory for Rosberg through the double points rule would devalue the championship, the German driver is not bothered by this prospect.

“Everybody can have their opinion and in sport it’s the points that count in the end,” Rosberg said in the FIA press conference on Thursday. “Of course you can debate who deserves it more or less, that’s always going to be the case.

“It’s clear I need to rely on something happening. For sure it’s not enough for me to win, unfortunately, that’s the way it is. In sport so much can happen so I’m very optimistic.”

Winning the next two races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi would not be enough for Rosberg, though. Should Hamilton finish second to his teammate in at both rounds, he would still win the championship by three points.

Therefore, as he looks weaker than ever in this title fight, Rosberg is pinning his hopes on his teammate hitting trouble in the final two races of the 2014 season.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).