Nico Rosberg has arrived in Brazil insisting he doesn’t feel any more pressure than usual.
That is despite the fact that a win on Sunday will see him crowned world champion.
But EFE news agency quotes Rosberg as saying at a press conference in Sao Paulo: “I don’t feel any more pressure than normal.
“The difference is that I have much more experience in the fight for the championship.”
It is a rare mention of the championship for German Rosberg, who has closed himself off to any talk about the bigger picture this year.
Even when his Mercedes contract was up for renewal earlier this year, he appointed someone to take care of it for him.
“Nico did not want to burden himself with contract negotiations in this crucial season for him,” team chairman Niki Lauda told Auto Motor und Sport.
“Toto (Wolff) and I talked with him about the contract maybe twice, but 50 times with Gerhard (Berger),” he added.
After the cap-throwing end to last year’s failed title bid, Rosberg has also calmed the waters of his rivalry with Lewis Hamilton.
The 31-year-old said he has “respect” for the Briton, while the relationship is “neutral for the good of the team”.
And for Brazil, where he can wrap up his first title triumph over Hamilton, he is counting no chickens.
“We have seen so many times in formula one that anything can happen,” Rosberg said this week. “I will do everything I can to win and then we’ll see.”
Meanwhile, Lauda said Rosberg’s steely resolve in 2016 has meant a change of focus for Hamilton, who has won the last two grands prix on the trot.
“Lewis has understood that his natural talent is no longer enough to stand up against this complete Rosberg,” said the F1 legend.
“That’s why he is now investing much more time in the car, the tyres and the setup. The question is whether he still has enough time to make use of it.”