Mercedes duo set for German battle as title race hots up

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are separated by just four points in the race for the 2014 World Championship

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are separated by just four points in the race for the 2014 World Championship

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The Brackley-based Mercedes team arrive in Germany this weekend for round 10 of the 2014 World Championship with the desire to maintain its domination of the year and achieve another 1-2 finish.

The utterly dominant Mercedes team have recorded six one-two finishes this season, winning eight of the nine races, and the German manufacturer is keen for more success at Hockenheim on Sunday.

Nico Rosberg, leader of the world championship, has signed a multi-year contract extension with the Brackley team this week and is looking forward to his home race.

He said: “The German Grand Prix is a big event for Mercedes. We have enjoyed a great season and won many races. To win in Germany is very important for Mercedes as the team have a great history in their home country.”

On signing the contract, Rosberg added: “I am very proud to drive the Formula One Silver Arrow of the modern era. As a German, the heritage of Mercedes-Benz is very special for me, and I am proud to be able to represent the best car brand around the world. It has been a difficult road to get to where we are now - but everybody kept believing and, thanks to the fantastic support from Mercedes-Benz, we are now leading the way in F1.”

The 2014 title race is finely balanced and Rosberg will go into this weekend as leader of the Drivers’ Standings by just four points from his Mercedes team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, who resurrected his title hopes with victory at Silverstone two weeks ago.

The 29-year-old said: “Winning at Silverstone was a major boost. I’ve suffered some bad luck and maybe lost some ground on Nico, but winning in Britain has put me right back in the title fight.

“My season really starts now. We have 10 races remaining and I can see it will be a real battle between Nico and myself for the title. Other cars might be capable of winning races, but the title race looks like it will be a square fight within the Mercedes team.”

Hockenheim is a popular track with F1 drivers, although the layout is somewhat different from the track’s original high-speed configuration that was tree-lined, with Rosberg adding: “The German Grand Prix is always a massive event for the whole of Germany.

“The country is very happy with itself this week having won the World Cup, and I think the crowds would like to see a great victory by Mercedes-Benz this weekend.

“I plan to say well done to the football team by wearing a special helmet in the race to celebrate the fourth world cup victory for Germany!”

The Silverstone-based Sahara Force India driver, Nico Hulkenberg, will also be driving in his home Grand Prix.

The German, who has scored points in every round of the 2014 season to date, said this week: “I need to score as many points as possible if I’m to move myself into the top six in the championship, and for the team we would like to stay ahead of McLaren and overtake Williams.”

Hockenheim first hosted the German Grand Prix in 1970, and this year will be the 34th race to take place at the track located between Stuttgart and Frankfurt with the race annually alternating between the Hockenheim and Nurburgring tracks. This Sunday’s race will start at 1pm BST.