Rosberg wins in Brazil to set up final race showdown

Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton and the rest of the pack through the first corner of Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix at Sao Paulo's Interlagos track
Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton and the rest of the pack through the first corner of Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix at Sao Paulo's Interlagos track

Nico Rosberg took victory at Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix to set up a final race showdown with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi next weekend.

Having qualified on pole, Rosberg led from start to finish at Interlagos to pip Hamilton and cut the Briton’s lead to 17 points at the top of the Drivers’ Standings ahead of next week’s season finale.

Rosberg said afterwards: “The race went really well for me. I made a good start and managed to control the pace.

“I made sure I made no mistake on the opening lap and began to push to open my advantage. With double points to be scored in the final race I remain firmly in the title race heading to Abu Dhabi.”

With double points on offer for the final race, both Hamilton and Rosberg can still win the title, although Hamilton holds the advantage and knows a second place finish in Abu Dhabi finish would be sufficient to clinch the 2014 F1 World Championship.

After finishing second in Brazil, the 29-year-old said: “I would liked to have won but that was not possible as Nico was fast and I made a mistake and had a spin. I was lucky to be able to recover from that and keep my position on-track. Going to Abu Dhabi I have to be mindful not to make any mistakes as one slip could cost me the championship.”

Behind the Mercedes pairing, Felipe Massa completed the podium for the Williams Martini Racing team. Massa’s top-three finish was popular among the Brazilian fans.

Nico Hulkenberg, driving for Silverstone-based Sahara Force India, finished the race in eighth place to maintain his strong 2014 showing. The German remains ninth in the world championship table.

His Force India team-mate Sergio Perez, who has been confirmed as a team driver for the 2015 season, finished 15th.

Bicester-based Toro Rosso were out of luck with both Daniil Kvyat or Jean-Eric Vergne finishing outside of the points.

Vergne said: “We found the going tough in Brazil. But with one race to go we are hopeful of scoring points in Abu Dhabi.”

Vergne has been informed that he is leaving the team at the end of the season and will be replaced by teenager Max Verstappen, but in recent weeks, signs show that the Frenchman may yet be retained as an experienced partner for the F1 rookie.

Toro Rosso are epexcted to announce their 2015 plans shortly.