posted at 22:50
Author Name: Tim Collings
Hamilton, Rosberg set for title duel in desert
The British driver, who won his first world title in 2008, has a 17-point lead over fellow-Mercedes man Rosberg, but the concluding event of the season offers double points, a factor adding extra spice to the mix. On Saturday, Hamilton rejected Rosberg's jibe that he may crack under pressure in the desert duel. Rosberg, who snatched pole from Hamilton in the final seconds of a tense qualifying session, said his team-mate's recent spin in Brazil and failure to take pole at the Yas Marina circuit showed he had reason to hope for another slip-up. 29-year-old Hamilton is in no mood to allow the German, whose father Keke was world champion in 1982, to place doubts in his mind. Rosberg explained why he felt he should have faith in believing he can win and that Hamilton will face problems in a race where double points are to be awarded for the first time. The 29-year-old Rosberg produced his best lap of the weekend when he most needed it, clocking 1min 40.480sec to finish ahead of Hamilton with Valtteri Bottas third for Williams in Saturday's qualifying. "It's only one step, a very small step," said Rosberg after claiming his 11th pole of the season and 14th of his career. Rosberg can only beat Hamilton to the title by winning the race, or come second, and hope that the Briton suffers a major setback.

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