Hamilton's job easier than Rosberg's - Horner

Lewis Hamilton has an easier job than Nico Rosberg in their battle for this year's F1 title in the Abu Dhabi finale, according to Red Bull's Christian Horner.

Hamilton arrives in the final race of the season with a 12-point deficit to Rosberg, who only needs to finish third to secure his first title.

Horner, however, reckons Rosberg has "everything to lose" given the championship situation.

"Of course Nico has everything to lose," said Horner during a media event in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. "It seems a top-three finish is a straightforward result for a Mercedes driver, but we are at the end of engine life, gearbox life.

"He's probably going to be watching his mirrors harder than anyone else. He's got everything at stake.

"Lewis' job is easier than Nico's as he's the one who has the pressure to close up the championship.

Horner also referred to the example of the 2010 championship decider, when Sebastian Vettel pipped Fernando Alonso to the title.

"We saw that with Fernando Alonso a few years ago. Sebastian had nothing to lose. He just went for it and won the race," Horner said.

"Ferrari saw [Mark] Webber as a bigger threat in the championship than Vettel and they chose to cover the wrong driver."

Horner insisted that both Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo will be pushing the Mercedes duo as usual despite what is at stake this weekend.

"To my drivers I'll just say 'go for it' because it's not our championship battle. We are out there to get the best result that we can," he said.

"We could be Lewis Hamilton's best friend on Sunday afternoon if we manage to get both of our cars ahead of Nico. They are going to be focused on their own battle. There's no point Lewis winning the race by half a lap.

"If he's in the lead and he's smart, he's probably going to try to back the cars up so there is some racing behind him because that's the only way the result could fall his way. It's going to be fascinating."

Ricciardo, meanwhile, admitted he could try to push even harder given that both Mercedes drivers will need to be extra cautious.

"I think the first lap could be interesting. You think about Rosberg's position - all he has to do is finish third, if Hamilton wins. And even if he takes less risk at the start and, say, drops back to fifth, the car is still quick enough that he could still get third in the race.

"He doesn't need to be third on the first lap. For sure, if he's a bit cautious - or they're cautious - on the first lap, then I'll try to take some advantage.

"We'll see. I always try to take advantage, like everyone. If they're a bit more vulnerable this weekend, it's better for us because they're normally too fast."

Additional reporting by Frankie Mao

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Abu Dhabi GP
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Nico Rosberg , Daniel Ricciardo , Max Verstappen
Teams Red Bull Racing , Mercedes
Article type Breaking news