Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton 'proud' of Nico Rosberg ahead of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton has rejected claims that he may try to play dirty to hinder his teammate Nico Rosberg's title challenge.

Hamilton currently trails his Mercedes colleague Rosberg by 12 points in the Driver's Championship. The pair currently hold positions 1 and 2 respectively, so with only one more race left of the 2016 season, it really will be all guns blazing as the two compete for the World Championship.

There are various possible outcomes to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that would result in a third consecutive driver's title for Hamilton, but all of which must include Rosberg finishing outside of the top three.


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If Rosberg finishes inside the top three, then he will automatically win the driver's title, even if his rival finishes as the race winner.

The 2016 season has been a season of ups and downs for the reigning World Champion. After the first four races, he trailed the German by 43 points and following the Japanese Grand Prix, which was four races previously, Hamilton trailed his counterpart by 33 points.

On his performances this season, the British superstar said via the BBC: "It has been a challenging season in terms of ups and downs, but I've managed to strengthen in terms of turning the negatives into positives."

He continued by saying: "I am really proud of what I've achieved. I was 43 points behind. I thought it was impossible to come back from that, and I have been 33 points behind and nearly turned that around.

"It has shown everything is possible and I will keep facing the races coming with that mentality."

Hamilton's car this season has been plagued by mechanical failures, but by contrast, Rosberg has had no reliability issues with his Mercedes Benz.

When asked if he was concerned about whether or not the media would pick up on this fact, and credit his victory (if he does win the title) to Hamilton's car troubles rather than his own driving ability, Rosberg said via the BBC:

"I'm aware of how the season has gone. But the season isn't even finished yet. So it would premature, but anyways those thoughts - I don't have them at the moment in any way because it's all about concentrating on myself this weekend.

"I am excited to be going into the race fighting for the championship. I am really focused on trying to get the season finished with a win."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has suggested that Hamilton should back Rosberg into Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in the aim of holding his teammate up, and in doing so, forcing a title-winning situation.

But, Hamilton has ruled out any such possibility. He said via Sky Sports: "If I am out ahead, I want to be as far ahead as possible.

"Generally when you have a thirty-second lead, that's as painful a blow you can give to the guy you are fighting and those scenarios for me are more valuable and more of an achievement than backing up your team-mate.

"Plus, while it might sound like it makes sense, it's practically not very good to do. With two long DRS zones here, it wouldn't be very easy or very wise to do." 

On his rival's past performances on the Yas Marina circuit, Hamilton added: "Nico has been on pole here for the last two years here, he has been very quick.

"This has been a relatively strong circuit for me, but [I was] not delivering the last two years, so my sole goal is to do so."

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will take place over the course of the weekend beginning November 25-27.

If Rosberg places anywhere in the top three at the season finale, he will win his first ever World Championship crown in Formula One.

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