As the 2014 Formula 1 season enters its final two races in Brazil this weekend, the end of the bitter championship battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg is in sight.
As things stand, Hamilton leads his Mercedes teammate by 24 points after claiming five consecutive victories, and is in the best form of his life. With Rosberg winless since the German Grand Prix in July, the advantage firmly lies with 2008 champion Hamilton.
So what would winning the world championship mean to both drivers? It’s a simple question that NBCSN’s Will Buxton put to Hamilton and Rosberg in Brazil today ahead of this weekend’s race, but one that yielded two very different answers.
“First of all I need to try and win the two races, that’s pretty clear,” Rosberg said when asked about his title chances. “My qualifying form lately gives me a great opportunity to do that, that’s important.
“And then the rain can help also make things a little more complicated and some help from my dear teammate, and let’s see what he can come up with. I’m optimist, going for it, that’s what I need to do.
“He can also help me himself. It doesn’t have to be from the gods. A lot of things can happen in sport.”
Rosberg was then asked directly what winning the championship would mean to him.
“It would be quite cool, wouldn’t it?” he said. “It’s a childhood dream, so it would be awesome.”
As for Hamilton? He had a very different answer when asked the same question later in the day.
“That’s a difficult question to answer really,” Hamilton said. “As I’ve always said, I feel like I’m going for my first championship. It’s been a long time since winning the first one. I think the first one I didn’t really enjoy it the way I perhaps should have. I think it was just such a rush.
“I think going for this one, it continues with the support I’ve had from all my family and from my friends. I feel like I’m doing it for a lot of them.
“Winning the world championship is the single most special thing. It’s the biggest achievement a racing driver can ever have, winning the world championship. I don’t really know how to put it into words.
“I can’t really describe the feeling that I would have in my heart, this what I live and breathe. This is what I wake up for. This is what I train for. This is what I live for.”
Hamilton was then told that Rosberg thought it would be ‘quite cool’.
“I wouldn’t use the word cool,” he said. “I think it’s a very surreal experience, winning the world championship, being at the top of the pinnacle of motorsport. There’s everyone in the world that’s a racing fan lives and dreams of being a racing driver, so I’m very much aware of the fact that I hold one of the 22 seats.
“This is a very, very privileged position that I’m in so I make sure I don’t take it for granted, the work that I have to put in to make sure I get that win. I’ve been waiting a long, long time. I’ve been racing 21 years now, but a lot of effort has gone in the background.”