|© AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili
Mercedes may be battling from the runners-up spot in the constructors’ championship but its two drivers would also be looking to upstage each other in the drivers’ standings.
Friends since their karting days, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were paired together for the first time in Formula 1 in the same team this season with the two separated by 25 points in the standings with three races remaining.
Hamilton’s tally is higher and is placed fourth in the championship but has just one win in 2013 against the two recorded by Rosberg, who is placed sixth in the overall sheets.
But the momentum is in Rosberg’s favour. He has scored 48 points in the last five races against Hamilton’s 30 and with the German qualifying in third just ahead of the Briton at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday, the gap between the two could get closer.
"Third place, best of the rest, which is our target for this weekend," Rosberg said.
Meanwhile, the 2008 world champion, who has not managed a podium finish in his past five outings, lost out after he spun his car in the closing stages on Saturday.
"Something gave way on the right-hand side of the car," he said. "I was going through the chicane and it snapped out. I tried to pull away and it wouldn't move.
"This is a very difficult circuit to overtake on so being at the front means everything," Hamilton said. "Hopefully we can get a good start and maybe still challenge for podium positions."