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2014 F1

Mercedes desperate to avoid title breakdown – Lauda

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Mercedes is determined to ensure the 2014 title is decided in Abu Dhabi by events other than a technical failure.

Team boss Toto Wolff has already said that given the unpopular double points system for the championship finale, it would be a “nightmare” if Lewis Hamilton loses to Nico Rosberg because the British points leader breaks down.

The German outfit is remaining impartial for the decisive round of the drivers’ intense title battle.

“For me, both are now world champion,” team chairman Niki Lauda told the German broadcaster RTL.

“I have seen two Alpha males, top athletes at the very highest level.”

Lauda denounced Bernie Ecclestone’s double points system as “stupid”, but said Mercedes is determined that the title is at least decided through a fair sporting outcome.

“Toto Wolff, Paddy Lowe and myself have done everything possible to provide both drivers with the same conditions,” said the F1 legend, “so that technical problems do not decide the race.

“We have looked at every part of the car and engine and tried to shorten the life of the parts. Wherever we can, we have installed the newest components possible.

“If there is still a technical problem,” Lauda concluded, “then it is not something that we could have done anything to prevent.” (GMM)

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