OCTOBER 25, 2016
Rosberg aware of Mexican match point
Nico Rosberg says he is "aware" that he could be crowned the 2016 world champion as soon as this weekend.
Although his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton won from pole in Austin, Rosberg's 26 point lead means that if he wins in Mexico and Hamilton retires, the German would be champion no matter what happens in Brazil or Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton clearly thinks that is a possibility, revealing that he worried throughout the US grand prix about a repeat of his recent engine failure in Malaysia.
"All I could think about was the car making it to the end. Nothing else," Hamilton was quoted as saying by British newspapers.
So when asked about his first 'match point' ahead of Mexico this weekend and the possibility he could be champion, Rosberg told the APA news agency: "Of course I'm aware of it."
But he insisted he will not change his approach anyway.
"I will focus on Mexico and trying to get the victory there," said Rosberg.
He also told Bild newspaper: "In formula one, you can't expect anything. If you start thinking in your mind that it's over, then you've already lost.
"So I'm still going to every race to win."
Team boss Toto Wolff, however, thinks Rosberg also needs to ensure he does not DNF -- which could throw the championship battle wide open.
"He has to be careful he does not DNF -- that's what counts," the Austrian said.
"Nico is in a difficult situation," Wolff added. "He has to stay aggressive on one side, but on the other side not risk a crash."
Team chairman and F1 legend Niki Lauda agrees that Rosberg will definitely be thinking about the title now.
"Nico is thinking about the championship, no matter what he says. Sometimes you just have to go tactical, but if you go too slow then things can start to go wrong."