Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has called for a clean end to this season's F1 title fight between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen rather than it being decided "by taking each other off".
Following a rollercoaster year for the two drivers, they head into the final grand prix of the 22-race campaign in Abu Dhabi tied on points, knowing whoever finishes ahead of the other on track will be crowned champion.
Wolff is hoping there will at least be no repeat of the unsavoury incidents in Saudi Arabia where the duo went wheel-to-wheel on several occasions.
That culminated in Verstappen being punished twice for indiscretions, including brake testing Hamilton at one stage which forced a collision.
"In Brazil, I said we were setting a precedent if it [when Hamilton was forced wide by Verstappen] was not being investigated that it could end up being really ugly for the championship," remarked Wolff.
“We saw incidents [in Saudi Arabia] that were basically Brazil at slower speeds and we don’t want to have that in Abu Dhabi.
“The quicker car with the quicker driver should win the championship and not by taking each other off.”
Mercedes to stay grounded
Hamilton and Mercedes go into the race at the Yas Marina Circuit as favourites after a run of three successive victories that have reeled in Verstappen.
In the constructors' standings, Mercedes has one hand on an eighth successive title as it leads Red Bull by 28 points.
“In the constructors’ championship we made a really decent step, a really good one," added Wolff.
"But one must not forget that we are just equal points [in the drivers'] so it is all or nothing in Abu Dhabi - whoever wins the race, wins the championship.
"Therefore, it is important now to stay with both feet on the ground, keep working and hopefully bring the performance that we had in Saudi into Abu Dhabi.”
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