Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Nico Rosberg can be crowned F1 world champion at this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix if he takes victory on Sunday, if not however there are still a number of ways he can claim the trophy at Interlagos.
It really is the German’s title to lose, with only the race in Brazil and the season finale in Abu Dhabi remaining, his nineteen-point lead over team-mate and main rival Lewis Hamilton should be enough to see him home come the end of the year.
Another advantage for the son of the 1982 F1 world champion, is that the Brit has never won a race in Brazil. That fact could give Rosberg the psychological edge over his rival, having won the Brazilian Grand Prix himself for the last two years in succession, but Hamilton had also not achieved victory in Austria or Mexico, and he managed to break that trend this year.
The changeable weather in Brazil could also come into play this weekend. If it rains, as it often does in Sao Paulo and is in fact forecast for this race day, then that could work out well for the Brit, who tends to excel in tricky conditions compared to his German counterpart.
Rosberg struggled for pace in the rain deluged Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year, and was even beaten to the line by Sahara Force India F1 Team driver Nico Hulkenberg. Of course a soaking wet track could also lead to a higher probability of accidents, which would seriously hamper either drivers challenge, and would also bring other drivers into the mix to shake up the title battle.
The most important fact of all however, is that a win for Rosberg at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace will seal the world championship for the 31-year-old regardless of what Hamilton does thereafter, but he can also take the spoils if he achieves a better position in some instances, compared to the Brit, provided the Stevenage born driver does not win.
The permutations are numerous, and any bookmaker would no doubt be in their element working out the odds and outcomes for this weekend’s grand prix, in short however, they go something like this:
If Hamilton were to finish second or third on Sunday, then Rosberg would have to win to become world champion. Winning is the “easiest” way for the German to achieve his dream, but we all know that there is nothing easy about winning a F1 race.
Should Hamilton finish fourth or fifth in Sunday’s race, then a second place for Rosberg would also ensure championship glory for the German this weekend, whilst a sixth or seventh place for Hamilton would mean Rosberg only needed to come home in third place or higher.
If the Brit achieves eighth place on Sunday, it would mean fourth position for Rosberg would do, whilst a ninth place for Hamilton and the German would just need to finish in fifth place or higher.
A final points scoring position of tenth for the Brit would allow Rosberg to be just sixth to achieve world champion status on Sunday, and should Hamilton retire from the race and his team-mate continue, then sixth would be enough to take the honours.
If Rosberg fails to score in Brazil however, then there are further scenarios again to consider; a win for Hamilton would see him turn the tables on the German and give him a six-point lead going into the final race, whilst second would see the Brit trail by just one point, which would certainly even things up going into the title run in.
Engine failures and technical problems have been a real nemesis for Mercedes this year, and in particular Hamilton, so cannot be counted out as dealing a title ending blow this weekend either.
Rosberg has managed to make the best of any issues or errors this season, last time out in Mexico for example he was able to salvage a second place, after looking like he could be caught by both Red Bull’s at times during the race, and in the second half of the season he has been able to do this when it counts.
Pressure does not really appear to have affected the German so far this season, but will getting so close to the spoils finally register now that he has one hand on that trophy?
A clean race is all Rosberg really needs at the end of the day, as having the best car on the grid, should allow him to achieve the required result to ensure he goes down in history as only the second son of a F1 word champion to follow in his father’s footsteps, and he could always take it to the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi if necessary.
Incidentally I do not believe in superstition but, coincidence?