F1 showdown could spell double trouble

Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:06am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton could be only days away from his second Formula One world title but the Mercedes driver is wary of double trouble in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

The Briton leads German teammate Nico Rosberg by 17 points going into Sunday's season-ending 'Duel in the Desert', which means he does not have to win the race to take the crown even with an unprecedented double points on offer.

Second place at Yas Marina would do, even if Rosberg were to triumph, but the scoring potential and shadow of a mechanical failure or race incident still cast a heavy shadow.

"There is zero comfort going into the next race because it's 50 points to gain," said Hamilton, who took his 2008 title with a last gasp overtake when all seemed lost.

"In the last race you never know what is going to happen, so I'm going to the last race to win."

Sunday's double points could be a one-off, with even commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone now against continuing the idea he pushed through, but in other respects it should be more of the same.

Mercedes have already secured both titles and finished one-two a record 11 times this season, and are now chasing a record 16th win of the 19 race campaign.

The nightmare for the team, and particularly Hamilton who has won 10 races to Rosberg's five, is mechanical failure.   Continued...

Second placed Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton (L) of Britain reacts near next to winner Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany, during the podium ceremony after the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo November 9, 2014. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker