Nico Rosberg will venture to Mexico for this weekend’s grand prix knowing that he could be crowned Formula 1 world champion for the first time on Sunday.
Rosberg has long insisted that he is taking his bid for the drivers’ championship ‘one race at a time’, and after finishing second to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the United States Grand Prix, he is one step closer to a maiden crown.
Rosberg arrived in Austin, Texas with a 33-point lead in the drivers’ championship, meaning he could afford to finish second (and even third once) in the remaining four races and still win the title.
Rosberg battled back from a poor start to finish second at the Circuit of The Americas, meaning his lead now stands at 26 points with three races to go.
Mathematically, it means that Rosberg can in fact win the championship in Mexico this weekend, but only if he wins and Hamilton retires or finishes outside of the points.
Should Hamilton not score and Rosberg win, his lead would rise to 51 points with 50 remaining from the races following Mexico in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
Rosberg has only been in a position to clinch the championship once before in his F1 career: the 2014 season finale in Abu Dhabi, where he lost out to Hamilton.
Naturally, Rosberg’s main aim in Mexico will simply be beating Hamilton on-track, having been left frustrated after failing to do so in Austin.
“I just feel that it’s a pity that it didn’t work out with a win this weekend,” Rosberg said.
“I was going for that. It would have been awesome here in America but it didn’t work out.
“Lewis did a great job this weekend, all the way through, qualifying and race so it just wasn’t to be.
“I’ll live with second place now and next race is another great opportunity.”