Nico Rosberg says he is “in the best shape ever” ahead of his Formula 1 title showdown with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Rosberg needs a top-three finish at the Yas Marina Circuit to capture his first F1 drivers’ championship, enjoying a 12-point lead over Hamilton ahead of the decider.
The German has long stated that he was taking his title bid one round at a time, preferring to focus on winning the race at hand instead of playing the long game in the championship.
Speaking to the official F1 website, Rosberg said he feels upbeat ahead of the final battle of 2016 against Hamilton despite not winning any of the last three races.
“I am really happy about it. It feels great and I am in the best shape ever,” Rosberg said.
“I had a great time just before coming to Abu Dhabi with my family and had also the chance to do some amazing training. I arrived here extremely well prepared.
“I have to say that this track suits me pretty well, and I already had some successful moments here in the past, even though this does not really count right now, as all of us will start from zero on Sunday.
“It is a great situation that I am in and, believe me, I really want to win this race. I am interested in everything that will enable me to grow and to get better every day and learn from difficult situations.
“I have a good stomach feeling about this weekend and I will race for the win.”
Rosberg said that the heartache of losing the championship to Hamilton in 2014 and 2015 has helped fuel his charge in 2016, with last year’s loss at the United States Grand Prix being particularly tough to stomach.
“When I lost the world championship in Austin last year, I was thinking a lot about the situation. And then I was able to win seven consecutive races,” Rosberg said.
“But don’t get me wrong: I do not want this to happen again, that is for sure. But yes, I do believe that I am sitting exactly where I am now because of all these difficult situations that made me stronger.
“I personally think that if everything had been bright sunshine I would not be where I am now.”