Mercedes rivals set for one final battle in Abu Dhabi showdown

Nico Rosberg (left) and Lewis Hamilton have raced wheel-to-wheel all season but only one can lift the 2014 World Championship crown
Nico Rosberg (left) and Lewis Hamilton have raced wheel-to-wheel all season but only one can lift the 2014 World Championship crown

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will fight it out for the F1 World Championship crown in the 19th and final round of the 2014 season in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

After an absorbing, intense and at times controversial season-long battle, the Mercedes pair are separated by 17 points in the overall standings, but with double points on offer this weekend, both Hamilton and Rosberg can lift motor racing’s ultimate prize at the Yas Marina track, the host of what promises to be an unforgettable season finale.

Hamilton has tasted championship success in the past, winning the 2008 world title for McLaren-Mercedes , while Rosberg is looking for his first win and the chance to match his father Keke, who took the F1 title in 1982 for Williams.

The two have utterly dominated the 2014 season, with Hamilton standing on 10 race victories to Rosberg’s five.

The Briton, who only needs a second-place finish to clinch the world title, said: “It all comes down to this weekend. The whole season is about one race and the focus is very much on what Nico and I do.

“From my point of view the best race would be to win and then I don’t have to worry about what is happening behind me. That is my aim.”

Rosberg added: “To win the championship I need to ideally win the race and for Lewis to not have the perfect race. We have seen this track throw up some issues in previous years and I will just keep my mind on the job – which is winning the World Championship.”

Toto Wolff, the head of the Brackley-based Mercedes team, commented: “It has been a near-perfect year for the Mercedes-Benz team in F1.

“Our cars have won 15 races and been the class of the field. Our partner teams have enjoyed success with Mercedes powerplants and now we reach the final race.

“We wish our two drivers well and hope that the championship is concluded in a fair manner and both cars remain reliable throughout the race.

“Clearly Lewis breaking down would be a nightmare.

“We want the championship to end in a straight and fair battle and not by one of them breaking down.

“If there was a DNF, a technical issue, it would cast a big shadow over the championship. I want to see a straight fight between the two of them.”

Silverstone-based Sahara Force India are also hoping to end their season on a high.

Nico Hulkenberg is currently ninth in the standings with team-mate Sergio Perez 12th. The team look set to finish sixth in the Constructors’ Championship.

The part Bicester-based Toro Rosso squad line-up with their current driver pairing for the final time. Daniil Kvyat will join Red Bull next season, while Jean-Eric Vergne is set to be replaced for 2015.