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Published: 11:46 | 10/10/16

Lauda: Title is Rosberg's to lose


Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda believes the world championship is Nico Rosberg's to lose.

Rosberg capitalised on Lewis Hamilton's poor start to cruise to victory in the Japanese Grand Prix and increase his championship lead to 33 points with four races remaining.

The German will win the title if he secures three second-place finishes and a third-place and Lauda believes on a mechanical problem will prevent him from winning a maiden drivers' championship.

"Nico is doing everything right at the moment. If everything is going normal, the championship could be decided in the next few races, and Lewis won't be able to catch Nico any more. This is perfectly clear to me," Lauda said.

"It is only lost and won when the points are gathered, but if nothing happens to either car, I don't think Lewis will be able to turn it around again."

Hamilton's title hopes were severely dented when he suffered an engine failure on Malaysia before a disastrous start in Japan, but team boss Toto Wolff insists the reigning world champion can still beat his team-mate.

"Now it's finally mathematically between only our two boys. The gap in the Championship is now 33 points and we will let them battle it out in a clean race to the end," he said.

"If this season has shown one thing, it's that anything can happen and big swings are possible. There are 100 points still to be scored and a lot of racing still to go."

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