Formula 1

Nico Rosberg admits atmosphere with Lewis Hamilton is 'intense'

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As the Formula One season heads into it's closing stages, Nico Rosberg finds himself in somewhat of a heated race with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton for top spot in the Driver's Championship. 

However, the German currently holds an impressive 26-point lead at the top and could seal the Championship this weekend during the Mexican Grand Prix, if he wins and Hamilton finishes 10th or lower. 

With a maximum of 75 points left to contest for during the remainder of the season, Rosberg could afford to finish second twice and third once and still clinch the title, even if the British racer manages to win all three of the remaining races. 


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Such is the complexity of the task Hamilton faces. 

Speaking on the personal battle against the current World Champion, Rosberg has described the atmosphere between him and the Brit as "intense" heading into the weekend. 

The leader said: "Of course it's intense, but at the same time, there is an easy going side."

Rosberg has mentioned that he is "well aware" of the advantage he holds over his teammate, but has insisted that he is just concentrating on one race at a time and not thinking about the title, a rhetoric he has stuck with since the early stages of the season. 

He added: "It has been a great season so far which has put me in this position. It is exciting to be in the championship battle with Lewis towards the end of the season. 

"We've been there before but it is very cool. 

"But I have said before my way of achieving the best performance is to focus on the things within my control and that here in Mexico is to try to win the race."

Hamilton also portrayed a calm face ahead of the crucial race, despite the tough situation he finds himself in. 

Having suffered engine problems on multiple occasions, whereby costing him crucial points, the 31-year-old has reflected on the season and the upcoming race. 

He said: "We have had our frustrations already this year. We prepare for whatever we face.

"Me and the guys are working as hard as we can. As long as we have done everything in our power to get the best result, then we can go into our winter with a peaceful heart."

Hamilton suffered two engine failures in qualifying, while a subsequent grid penalty and another engine failure during the Malaysian Grand Prix cost him dearly. 

The British driver was leading the race on the Sepang International Circuit, but was forced to quit when his Mercedes car burst into flames. 

To the contrary, Rosberg has only suffered a gearbox glitch, which resulted in him dropping a single place from second to third in the British Grand Prix. 

The German realises that there could be critics who would be willing to point out the reliability advantage he has enjoyed during the season, but Rosberg has seemed unfazed. 

He said: "I'm here to win races. There will always be people who have opinions going against me for one reason or another. It's the nature of the business. I like to focus on the people who support me and that's it. 

The 31-year-old added: "It's a childhood dream but that's where it ends because what's important this weekend is winning the Mexican Grand Prix and then see what happens," when asked about his title winning hopes. 

"It just feels right to focus on the things I can influence, keep it simple, be in the moment and it's been working so just stick with it."

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