Rosberg closing in on 'dream' first title in Mexico

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Nico Rosberg's charge to a first Formula One title could reach a victorious climax at the Mexican Grand Prix this weekend.

Although his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton emerged triumphant last time out in Austin to cut the German's lead to 26 points with three races to go, Rosberg could claim the title should things go his way.

The German needs to win in Mexico City while also hoping Hamilton has a miserable weekend and finishes 10th or lower.

The defending champion will be buoyant, however, with his victory in the United States ending a run of five successive races without a win.

 

ROSBERG IGNORING "CHILDHOOD DREAM"

Rosberg finds himself in uncharted territory, having not won an F1 title before. 

The 31-year-old acknowledged it would be great to fulfil such a "dream", though he insists he is only focusing on what he can control.

"[To win the title is] a childhood dream," he said. "But that's where it ends for me - the important thing for me is winning the Mexican Grand Prix.

"It's been a great season so far, putting me in this position - it's exciting to be in this battle with Lewis. But as I've said, my way at the moment to achieve best performance is to focus on things in my control - here in Mexico that's to win."

 

SAINZ RELISHING BATTLES WITH HERO ALONSO

Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz enjoyed a tussle for fifth place in Austin with Fernando Alonso, with the McLaren driver ultimately going on to pass the 22-year-old.

However, Sainz admitted just going toe-to-toe with someone he idolosed growing up was "special".

"It's already a big satisfaction to just be an F1 driver, and among the 21 best drivers in the world. Maybe being with Fernando is a bit more special.

"I've seen all his races from when I was a kid and I put myself in the position in Austin to fight against him. When you go to bed and think about it, it's a bit more special. I definitely enjoyed it."

 

GUTIERREZ SET FOR FIRST HOME GRAND PRIX

The race sees two drivers in Esteban Gutierrez and Sergio Perez take to the track in their home country. 

For Monterrey-born Gutierrez, it will be the first time he has raced in a Mexican Grand Prix and he feels as though it will be a long weekend full of celebrating.

"It's incredible to be here," he said. "Everyone is excited. It's an honour to be able to share this great weekend with all the people who will be here supporting us. It's incredible to be part of a big party through the weekend."

Perez, who raced in Mexico last year, added: "They always say that racing at home gives extra pressure, but the energy all weekend will be phenomenal. We want to enjoy every moment."

 

THE CIRCUIT

The clockwise track has four fast 'S' stages which will test the drivers' capabilities of moderating between speed and control.

Turn one is a right-hander which leads into the first S, while turn 13 is tricky and will place great demands on cars that could behave differently at the highest altitude of the season.

 

WEATHER FORECAST

Drivers look set to enjoy dry conditions for practice and qualifying on Friday and Saturday.

However, threats of a thunderstorm on Sunday could result in dramatic changes to each team's pre-planned strategies.

 

TYRES

Much like in Austin last time out, teams will be going with softer tyres in Mexico, with the medium, soft and supersoft compounds nominated.

Mercedes have opted for five sets of the supersoft tyres in a conservative approach, Ferrari and Red Bull having gone for six.