Formula 1

What Mercedes have told Nico Rosberg & Lewis Hamilton before 'duel in the desert'

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Formula One team Mercedes are set to win three back-to-back Constructors’ & Drivers’ championships and the final race of the 2016 calendar at Abu Dhabi is the perfect platform to realise that dream.

While the Constructors’ title is secured with them being way ahead of their peers, both their drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, will battle it out at the Yas Marina Circuit for the top honour.

However, the team expects the duo to drive in the right spirit and indulge in “sportsmanlike” behaviour in the process, although Mercedes won’t interfere in the matter.

Team principal Toto Wolff is of the opinion that both their drivers are thorough professionals and would abide by rules, maintaining proper conduct throughout.

Speaking on the issue, as quoted by Sky Sports the 44-year-old said: “We can’t really interfere into that final race. We have let them race until now, they both know they must be sportsmanlike.

“There is a lot at stake, it's the Drivers' World Championship to be won or lost.

“For us, as long as they are not over-stepping the mark what we see as being sportsmanlike driving, we're fine. We need to let them go.”

Experts believe that Hamilton might engage in tactics during the race to ensure his third successive title as winning the race alone would not guarantee him being champion.

The German has a 12-point lead over the reigning champion and even if the Brit gains victory, Rosberg will only need to finish third to win his maiden title.

But such strategy has been completely ruled out by both Hamilton as well as his boss.

Wolff continued: “We don't want to change the rules because it would be wrong that for the title decider we would turn everything upside down we have developed in the last couple of years.”

He focused on the fact that by their demeanour on track, they can set an example in the long run.

"The drivers are great sportsmen and they know what it would mean overstepping the line, it would cause a lot of controversy. Therefore I have trust this is going to go well for the benefit for the team, the team spirit, the effort that has been given, and the fans."

Wolff admits engineers of both drivers have worked hard to produce the best possible car for their respective drivers that has provided dividends in the entire season.

“It's a difficult situation for all of us in a team.

“You might say we are in a very privileged position that whoever wins this week is going to be a Mercedes driver. But the truth is we have kept neutral over the last three years and Sunday is going to be particularly difficult, and has been already this weekend.

“[The aim has been] to give them support when they need it, not interfere too much, not over-manage, but just let them fight it out on track. Give them a car that has the pace, which we have seen and were able to achieve, a reliable car and a strategy that works for both. That's another tricky area with the Red Bulls clearly on an off-set strategy and Ferrari having pace.

“So the main objective is to interfere the least in the Drivers' World Championship and really let the drivers fight it out on track.”

After months of ups and downs for the two teammates in terms of results in the previous races, the season finale is set to be an enthralling experience for fans across the globe.

Hamilton grabbed his 61st pole of his F1 career on Saturday, while Rosberg starts second on the grid and all eyes will be on Mercedes alone as we gear up for an engaging battle between the teammates.

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