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Wolff: Hamilton and Rosberg equally deserving of F1 title

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Wolff: Hamilton and Rosberg equally deserving of F1 title
Nov 18, 2014, 12:57 PM

Toto Wolff says that both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg deserve to win the Formula One world championship, with each driver impressing and su...

Toto Wolff says that both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg deserve to win the Formula One world championship, with each driver impressing and suffering in equal measure over the course of the season.

As the title rivals prepare for the double points showdown in Abu Dhabi this weekend, the Mercedes team boss spoke to a few reporters including this site and said he believes that while Hamilton has won more races, his title bid has been hurt by reliability issues, while Rosberg, who who has had greater qualifying pace across the year was perhaps, in the eyes of the German's fans, treated too harshly in the wake of the Belgian Grand Prix collision that dumped Hamilton out of the race.

"Lewis has won 10 races, he has won more than Nico, scored more points but he has had some drama this season, where the car was on fire or had a brake problem," said Wolff. "But then you had Nico, who out-qualified Lewis, probably the area where we would have judged Lewis to be the strongest driver out there, in raw pace in qualifying, and Nico was just there.

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"What we have seen all season is an equal battle of two worthy champions," he added. "Lewis fans would argue that he is the quicker driver, with more unreliability. Nico Rosberg fans would say that he was the quicker driver and that he was treated in a very hard way after Spa and he deserves to be world champion. You're never going to make it right for everyone.

"The truth is that I care about both of them equally, they are both great for our brand because they are different personalities because they are both great racing drivers, so for us it doesn't matter which one becomes world champion."

Hamilton goes into this weekend's decider with a 17-point advantage over Rosberg. If the German wins the 50 points available for victory, Hamilton would need to finish second to win the title, with a 1-2, in either configuration, highly probable given the 11 such finishes the team has racked up so far this season. If Rosberg finishes second, Hamilton only needs fifth to take his second title.

Despite the championship being so delicately poised, Wolff said there is no nervousness for Mercedes at the Yas Marina Circuit, with the only question mark being the reliability of both W05 Hybrid cars this weekend.

"I'm much less nervous than before because we are in the comfortable situation that we won the constructors championship and we know we will win the drivers' championship now, no one can take it away from us," he said. "Still, we want to get it right – we want to provide a reliable quick car for both drivers."

The team's comfort zone, Wolff added, also extends to the speculation surrounding Hamilton's  future with Mercedes. The Briton has yet to commit his long-term future to the team but Wolff is adamant that the lack of movement on the issue has been planned.

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"In F1 you never know what will happen," he said, "but what we have agreed between us all is that we didn't want to sit down to negotiate the terms of the contract when Lewis needs to concentrate on his driving.

"We did that very consciously, even when the rumours surrounding other drivers accelerated," he added. "We sat down again and considered whether or not we should take those conversations [with Lewis] forward and we decided it was not the right thing to do. So, on the Monday or Tuesday after Abu Dhabi we'll sit down and start to discuss it and hopefully find a solution.

"We very much want Lewis to stay for many more years. He's great for the team, he's part of the family. The relationship we have is more than just a professional one between driver and team, it's on a different level. Our wish, very much, is for that to continue for many more years."

This weekend's race is of course a double points decider, a scoring system that has met with almost universal disapproval. Wolff, too, believes the system should be scrapped.

"We need to change it for next year," he said. "I think many within F1, the stakeholders don't like the concept. But then we are the teams and we race in the series, we are part of the decision making process, but we don't have the final say. That is down to the commercial rights holder and the governing body and I hope they are going to make the right decision."
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton Shop Now
Teams McLaren Shop Now