Nico Rosberg has admitted he will not be able to sleep if he entertains the thought of stopping Lewis Hamilton from winning a third consecutive championship.
Hamilton appeared on course to cruise to his fourth world title after he turned a 43-point deficit into a 19-point lead by virtue of winning five of the last six grands prix prior to the summer break.
But the Mercedes rivals will head to the Singapore Grand Prix later this month separated by a mere two points following back-to-back triumphs for Rosberg in Belgium last weekend, and here in Monza on Sunday.
Rosberg has lost out to Hamilton in each of the two years they have slugged it out of for the championship, but after winning in Italy for the first time in his career – a race which Hamilton has dominated for the past two seasons – the German will feel as though this could yet be his year.
Indeed his lights-to-flag victory – after taking advantage of Hamilton’s woeful start in Sunday’s race – marked his seventh win of the campaign.
“I am not thinking about the championship,” said Rosberg. “It is my best approach, so why would I change it?
“If I thought about a 43-point lead going to 19 points behind, then I would lose sleep over that, so I don’t think about it and I just enjoy winning races.
“My belief to win individual races is as high as ever, and I showed that on Sunday.”
The Italian Grand Prix marked Formula One’s final stop in Europe with Singapore playing host to the first of seven concluding flyaway races.
It was in Singapore where Mercedes, the sport’s all-conquering team, were mysteriously off the pace in 2015. Hamilton retired with a mechanical failure, while Rosberg could finish only fourth.
“We cannot go there with too much confidence because we were miles off last year – 1.8 seconds – and that is huge, so it is our most difficult race and it will be a challenging weekend,” Rosberg added.
“We think we have made progress, but 1.8 seconds is not going to be easy to improve.”
Should the field be tighter at the Marina Bay Circuit, it could provide either Hamilton or Rosberg with the opportunity to score a greater number of points than the other.
“Of course, if Ferrari are closer and more competitive that is not such a bad thing,” added Hamilton, who remains one victory shy of his 50th in the sport.
“There is possibility to have space between us – Nico would say the same thing if it was the other way – but also we want to win every race as a team, so we are hoping for a good weekend.
“Last year was obviously difficult and we hope it is not going to be the same.”