It'll all be decided this weekend. After twenty races of what seemed at times to be a Championship yo-yo, the Formula One Drivers' Title will be handed to either Nico Rosberh or Lewis Hamilton in the desert this coming Sunday, as the 2016 season comes to an end in Abu Dhabi.
By all intents and purposes, it should be Nico Rosberg lifting aloft his maiden title this weekend; he holds a strong enough lead in the title race that a podium-finish will be enough to secure the Championship no matter what Lewis Hamilton does. However, in this season of twists and turns, never say never.
Nico Rosberg has been playing a careful game for the past three races. He's done just enough to ensure that he can finish in at least P2, free of any potential entanglement with his team mate and those behind him. If he repeats the feat this Sunday, he'll be Champion. It'll leave a sour taste in the mouths of many (not least Hamilton), for the somewhat cowardly nature of protecting his lead. Who was the last driver to win the Formula 1 title without winning their last four races? Nonetheless, the history books won't care; it'll just read "Nico Rosberg, 2016 Champion". However, there is a danger that if Rosberg crashes out of this race, Hamilton will be Champion. It's not a given that Mercedes will come home in a one-two fashion; there have been times this season where collisions (occasionally with each other) have forced one of the Mercs into retirement, or indeed mechancial failure has forced one or both out of the race. Rosberg will be paying his engine holds up in the heat of the Abu Dhabi desert.
Hamilton, put simply, has nothing to lose. He's in a rich vein of form and the most he can do is win the race and exert pressure on Rosberg. Will he refuse to go full-throttle and force a P2 Rosberg into the chasing pack, increasing the chances of the German having an accident? Or will he surge ahead into the sunset and prove a point that he is a real champion? It can go either way. The first corner will say a lot as to how this race will pan out. Rosberg will refuse to go all out into turn 1 with Hamilton, knowing that a touch can destroy a maiden title. He'll tip-toe to the corner and take it on his own terms and if that means losing a position or two, so be it. He'll have another sixty laps to claw back a podium spot to claim victory.