Rosberg still optimistic about F1 title thanks to double points


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.

Ryan Hunter-Reay hired as replacement for Conor Daly at Ed Carpenter Racing

Ryan Hunter-Reay Carpenter
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ryan Hunter-Reay was named to replace Conor Daly in Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet, starting in the NTT IndyCar Series event next week at Road America.

Hunter-Reay is the 2012 series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner. He finished 11th for Dreyer & Reinbold last month in the 107th Indy 500, his first start since the 2021 season finale. He drove full time for Andretti Autosport from 2010-21.

“We need to improve our competitiveness and I wanted to add a fresh perspective from a driver like Ryan who has a massive amount of experience and success as well as a reputation as a team leader. I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team,” team owner Ed Carpenter said in a team release. “We have worked together in the past as teammates and he tested for ECR at Barber Motorsports Park in October 2021, where he made an immediate impact as we were able to qualify one of our cars on the pole following that test. I am confident that his experience and technical abilities will be an asset to ECR as we move forward toward our goals as a team.”

Hunter-Reay has 18 IndyCar victories, most recently in 2018. He also is a winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, having been a part of winning entries in the 2020 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 2018 Petit Le Mans. Last year, he was an endurance driver for Cadillac Racing while being on standby for Chip Ganassi Racing.

He replaces Daly, whose departure was announced a day earlier in what the driver and team said was a mutual decision.

“I was surprised when I got the call from Ed,” Hunter-Reay said in a team release. “He described how frustrated he was that his team has not been able to realize its potential despite their efforts, investments, as well as technical and personnel changes over the past few years and asked for my help. Ed and I are very close friends and have been for a long time. I’ve worked with the team in the past and they are a very talented group with high expectations and a committed partner in BITNILE.COM.

“This will certainly be a challenge for me as well. It’s a tough situation jumping in a car in the middle of the season without any testing in what I believe to be the most competitive series in the world. Certainly, part of my motivation in saying ‘yes’ to Ed is the great challenge ahead. The last time I turned right driving an NTT IndyCar Series car was in October of 2021 with this team at Barber. However, I remain very confident in both my driving and technical abilities and believe by working with the talented people at ECR and Team Chevy, while representing BITNILE.COM, we will make progress. I am going to do everything I can do to help the team achieve its long-term objectives.”

Said Milton “Todd” Ault, the chairman of sponsor “It is great for to be aligned with an Indy 500 Winner and an NTT IndyCar Series champion. I have followed Ryan’s career for years and I am confident he will challenge the entire ECR team to perform at higher levels. I wish everyone luck at Road America.”