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Double points? 'Fantastic,' scoffs Nico

2014-11-07 09:08

STILL IN THE FIGHT: Nico Rosberg could still win the 2014 F1 title with two races left. Double points are up for grabs at the finale in Abu Dhabi. Image: AP / Felipe Dana


SAO PAULO, Brazil - Even in adversity, with Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton romping to five wins in a row and a 24-point lead in the Formula 1 championship, Nico Rosberg can see the funny side of the situation.

From being strongly against 'Abu Double', Formula 1's controversial and unprecedented double-points finale that will keep the title battle open all the way to Abu Dhabi on November 23, he spoke like a convert on Thursday (Nov 6).

"I do (like it) now. It's really a fantastic idea," Rosberg jokingly exclaimed to reporters ahead of the 2014 Brazilian GP when reminded how much he disliked it when he was in front.


"For sure it's great. Great news that for sure this year I have a chance to win the championship the way it is now. I'm also happy because it's good for the fans that it's going to be exciting until the very end.

"And, yeah, for sure it keeps me very, very optimistic."

In July, when he was leading by 14 points, he wrote in a newspaper column: "The concept is really artificial, I don't like it and that is a pity, but that is the way it is and we have to accept it."

In truth, his views have not changed - as he emphasised in a later TV interview when he again called double points "artificial" - but, like any racing driver, Rosberg would take the title whichever way it comes.

The talk of a late surprise might also help to wind up Hamilton.


Sunday's race could revive Rosberg's title prospects at one stroke if Hamilton suffers a retirement, or deal them another bitter blow if the 2008 champion wins again.

Asked to characterise his season since a "rich run of form" from Monaco in May to Hockenheim in July dried up, Rosberg paused before delivering his verdict: "A less rich run of form."

Rosberg has not won a race since his home GP while Hamilton arrived in Brazil from Texas this week on the back of five consecutive wins and 10 wins from 17 races. Rosberg has triumphed in only four. In a normal year with normal points, Hamilton could hope to clinch the title at Interlagos just as he did six years ago but this time he has to wait.

Hamilton told reporters after winning the previous weekend's US GP that a costly collision with Rosberg, in Belgium at the end of August 2014 had been his launch pad.

Hamilton said: "Spa was like, 'I'm going to turn this up. I'm going to have to turn this up. This means war'. That kind of feeling. Reflecting on it, I took that energy and turned that negative bomb into a positive."


Rosberg, whose mental toughness has also been acknowledged by Hamilton, declined to join in the fighting talk: "Did he say we're at war? I don't think anything has changed. It was an intense battle before and it still is an intense battle now. So, I don't know his exact opinion on things but for me nothing has changed since then."

Rosberg's Finnish father Keke won the 1982 title with only one win in a season in which nobody won more than twice.

Asked how he would answer those who said it would be a hollow championship if he won, Rosberg said he would not respond: "Everybody can have their opinion and in sport it's the points that count in the end. Of course, then you can debate who deserved it more or less. That's always going to be the case."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Brazilian F1 GP weekend.

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