Rosberg closes gap on Hamilton with Brazil GP victory

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Nico Rosberg claimed victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix to close the gap on Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and set up a double-points showdown for the championship title.

The German ended his Mercedes team-mate’s five-race winning streak by taking the chequered flag at Interlagos, though the Brit’s second-place finish means he still has a 17 point lead at the top of the standings.

It was Mercedes’ 11th one-two of the season, setting a new F1 record, whilst the Brackley-based team have now equalled the haul for number of wins in a single campaign of 15.

It was a tremendous performance from Rosberg who was quickest in all three practice sessions and topped the timesheet after each of the three qualifying runs, ultimately taking his tenth pole position this year.

It was, however, a mistake from Hamilton that aided Rosberg’s cause as the former appeared on course to take the lead at the end of lap 28, only to take a minor spin.

Over the closing 20 laps there was consistently less than a second that separated the duo as Rosberg came under intense pressure from Hamilton, but managed to keep him at bay.

Come the flag, with Hamilton easing off on the final lap, 1.4secs was the gap between them, with Williams’ Felipe Massa 41 seconds adrift in third, with McLaren’s Jenson Button fourth.

It all now comes to a head in Abu Dhabi, where Mercedes will be praying the fight is clean and their cars stay reliable, as was the case around all 71 laps at one of the sport’s most-famous circuits.

But, with the controversial double-points system in place for the first time in Formula One history in the upcoming season-ending race, Hamilton knows even if Rosberg wins again he only needs to finish as runner-up to claim a deserved second world title.

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