Nico Rosberg will feel the nerves ahead of final race: Karun Chandhok to India Today

first_imgIt has been one of the most exciting seasons of Formula One and it is heading for a photo-finish in the season ending race at Abu Dhabi this Sunday. The title hangs in the balance and fighting for it all the way to the chequered flag will be teammates and bitter rivals Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Two-time defending Champion Hamilton is on pole, behind him on track but 12 points ahead in the standings is Nico Rosberg who wants to be the new King of the tracks.To find out who will come out on top we caught up with Karun Chandhok who is one of only 2 Indian drivers to have raced in F1. Karun spoke to India Today from the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi which is gearing up for the season showdown. Here are the excerpts:India Today: Do you feel it is advantage to Rosberg or Hamilton?Karun Chandhok: I think it is advantage to Rosberg, he is leading the championship by 12 points and all he needs to do is finish 2nd or 3rd behind Lewis Hamilton. Lewis has an easier job, he just has to go all out and try and win so it is quite a straightforward task for him. Rosberg will be slightly more nervous as he has got to stay out of trouble, he has got to stay ahead of people like Red Bull and Ferrari so it is slightly more complicated situation for him but in terms of points absolutely it is advantage Rosberg. (Lewis Hamilton fastest in Abu Dhabi practice)advertisementIT: Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position, what will be Rosbergs strategy to win the Championship?KC: Lewis Hamilton has been the fastest even in the practice sessions on Friday, he is in great form and he loves this circuit and he has won here twice before but dont forget Nico Rosberg won here last year and has had pole position for last two years so he is also very good around here. I will still put my money on Lewis to win the race and I think Nico is going to be safe. They have different engine settings by which they can control their reliability a bit more so Nico can go on a safe mode just to make sure that he gets to the end whereas Lewis can be attacking and aggressive. But this is sport, Formula One is full of drama and we have seen a lot of unpredictability. In a normal race Rosberg should be able to finish 2nd or 3rd quite comfortably but we have seen a lot of World Championship deciders where there has been a lot of unpredictability. (Hamilton Test: DRS in spotlight as New Zealand recover on rain-affected day)IT: While I am not going to compare these two with Senna & Prost just yet, the rivalry between Lewis & Nico has captured everyones attention. Have you seen a similar scenario in recent times where teammates are going all out to win the crown in the final race of the season?KC: I had lunch with Mark Webber today here in Abu Dhabi and we were talking about this. Mark came here to Abu Dhabi in 2010 as the World Championship contender and he lost that year in the battle against his teammate. Sebastian Vettel snuck the title away from him. So Mark came here in the same position as Nico Rosberg, he was leading the World Championship and came here as a favourite but in the end he finished 5th in the Grand Prix and lost the title at the final race. It has happened before and we are talking about nerves and tonight he (Rosberg) will be a more nervous man. He has never won a World Championship before, Lewis has got three in the bag so for him 4th one is great but it is not the be-all and end-all. So I think Lewis will sleep more comfortably tonight.IT: Mercedes have been on a different level this season. But did you expect Ferrari or Red Bull to challenge them a bit more?KC: I think Mercedes have been utterly dominant this season. They have an amazing car, they have a great and stable team of drivers and engineers and designers so they have really maximised their performance. I think Ferrari has been disappointing this year, you would have expected them to really have done better but they are 71 points behind Red Bull which is a big disappointment. Ferrari have not won a race all season, they have not had a pole position all season so it is a big disappointment really from Ferraris standpoint. But hats off to Mercedes they have had a great season.advertisementIT: Force India look set for a 4th place finish in the constructors championship and this has been their best ever season in F1. How do you rate their season?KC: I think Force India have had an incredible season despite all the off track drama which are well documented regarding their Team owner (Vijay Mallya). It has been an amazing season for them on-track, they are in 4th place and are best of the rest behind the Big-3 teams. They (Force India) are using much fewer resources and budget than even teams like Torro Rosso, Williams and McLaren. I think Force India has had an incredible season and they are very excited about what they have achieved. (Formula One: Decisive day looms for Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg)IT: Some British pundits have called Force India the best pound-for-pound team in F1 given that they have half the manpower or money than the big guns. Do you see them improving further & possibly get into the Top-3 in the coming seasons?KC: I think getting into the Top-3 will be very difficult as I said they have probably got half the resources, if not less, than the likes of McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes so I think getting into the Top-3 is going to be quite a bit hard but they should be able to maintain 4th place. I am actually very impressed with Esteban Ocon (new driver for Force India). He has done well as a rookie at Manor, he is a very exciting young talent, he is a really nice guy and a good team player so I am actually quite excited about him. Of course Hulkenberg is an asset that they have lost but I think Ocon is a very exciting prospect for the future. (Formula One: Nico Rosberg one win away from his first title)IT: Final question, who is your money on?KC: I am going to say Hamilton to win the race at Abu Dhabi but Nico Rosberg to win the Championship.last_img

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