Nico Rosberg can win his first Formula 1 World Championship on Sunday but to do so, he’ll likely need to get a jump on Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Lewis Hamilton into the first turn of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
If Hamilton can run away from the start, there’s a good chance it could well be game over for the race.
Nonetheless, Rosberg needs only to follow Hamilton home the last two races in second place for both to secure the title.
The German remains optimistic for Sunday despite Hamilton edging him for the pole on Saturday. Hamilton improved his time to a 1:10.736 to Rosberg’s 1:10.838, just a tenth off, in their final laps.
“It was an exciting qualifying for sure. Lewis was marginally quicker at the end,” Rosberg said during the post-qualifying press conference.
“My lap was good but was not quick enough, missing that little bit out there.
“As we’ve seen, pole isn’t always the guy that wins the race so I’m still optimistic for tomorrow. I want to try to win the race tomorrow.”
A win tomorrow ensures Rosberg would be crowned World Champion, thus joining his father Keke in that most exclusive of F1 driver clubs, and adding the Rosberg family to the Hills – Graham and Damon – as the only father/son combination to both win a World Championship.
Of Rosberg’s nine victories this year, only three have come when Hamilton took pole. Those occurred in Australia, Bahrain and Italy, and Hamilton’s poor starts or collisions in all three opened the door for Rosberg to take advantage.
Rosberg is also bullish on his chances regardless of weather tomorrow, with rain possible.
“I don’t think of anything in terms of much to lose. I look forward to tomorrow’s race. We have a great car in either condition,” he said.
Rosberg has won the last two Brazilian Grands Prix. With a third straight Brazilian Grand Prix triumph on Sunday, Rosberg would become a 10-time race winner this year and achieve that elusive first career title.