Rosberg blocks out reliability fears as 'match point' looms

Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:28pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Formula One championship leader Nico Rosberg is refusing to be rattled by reliability concerns as he prepares for his first 'match point' of the season in Mexico this weekend.

"That's not within my control so I completely block that out," the Mercedes driver told reporters after finishing second to team mate Lewis Hamilton in Sunday's U.S. Grand Prix.

Rosberg leaves Austin 26 points clear of triple world champion Hamilton, meaning that the last three races in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi all loom as potential title deciders.

A victory in Mexico City on Sunday, coupled with Hamilton failing to score, would leave the German enjoying an unassailable lead of 51 points.

"Of course I'm aware of that, it's an obvious calculation which everybody is telling me and it's great...but for me the approach is keep it simple," said Rosberg.

"So just look for the race win and concentrate on what's at hand for the weekend."

While Rosberg, who won the last three races of 2015 including Mexico, has enjoyed a remarkably trouble-free campaign, Hamilton has been plagued by reliability issues.

The Briton said on Sunday that he had been on tenterhooks every lap, haunted by the possibility of another engine failure like the one that robbed him of 25 points in Malaysia.   Continued...

Oct 23, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg (6) of Germany waves to the crowd after he comes in second place during the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports