Nico Rosberg will still deserve the 2016 title even if Lewis Hamilton extends his winning streak to four races in Abu Dhabi.
After a spate of technical troubles this year, Mercedes’ Hamilton is having to fight back while Rosberg nurses his points lead to the Abu Dhabi finale next weekend.
“I am happy that in the same car I am beating Nico and he is driving at his best right now,” Hamilton told British newspapers after winning in Brazil.
The perception is that Hamilton is perhaps the more deserving champion — but not everyone sees it that way.
Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport said after Interlagos: “In the Brazilian rain, Rosberg had only to avoid risks and he did that.”
And former Mercedes boss Ross Brawn told The Guardian that while Hamilton is on form, “Nico has been impressive too.
“Whoever wins it will deserve it, but for his tenacity and determination, I’d edge slightly to Nico.”
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff insists he remains impartial, insisting only that he hopes the team can give the duelling duo reliability for their finale.
“What I fear most of all is technical problems, but it cannot be ruled out,” said the Austrian.
“But what Bernie Ecclestone really wanted – that the title is decided at the last race of the season – he has got,” said Wolff.