Title fight can open up opportunities for Red Bull - Verstappen

© XPB 

Max Verstappen believes that challenging Mercedes at this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be a tall order for Red Bull, but the Dutchman admits the title fight could open up opportunities.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are set to duke it out for the championship at Yas Marina Circuit, with 12 points separating the two team-mates entering the final round of the season.

While the German can settle for a podium finish to seal the crown, his British rival would not mind the Red Bulls of Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo splitting the Mercedes on Sunday.

“It will be difficult,” the 19-year-old said. “I think just on speed we will be behind, but it will be interesting anyway because between Nico and Lewis they are fighting for the title, and maybe Lewis will be more aggressive than Nico or maybe Nico will be more aggressive than Lewis to risk a crash and then they both have no points. I think everything is possible this weekend.”

Verstappen has been singled out by Toto Wolff as possible interference in the title fight, with the Mercedes motorsport boss going as far as calling the teenager’s father Jos to ask him to rein his son in.

That did not deter Verstappen from attacking in wet-weather conditions at the previous round in Brazil, pulling off a series of sentational moves including one on Rosberg.

Asked whether he thinks the current F1 points leader would be reluctant to engage in a wheel-to-wheel battle with him, Verstappen replied: “As you could see in Brazil it was like that, but it’s not going to rain here so I can’t do those moves around the outside.

“I think definitely he will be a bit more in control I would say, managing a bit more the situation. But even on general pace, if [the Mercedes drivers] back off they are still ahead. So I think that is a bit more of the problem.”

Chris Medland's 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix preview

FEATURE: Hamilton v Rosberg: 2016 F1 drivers' title permutations

TECHNICAL: Under the skin of the McLaren-Honda MP4-31

INTERVIEW: Rob Smedley on Felipe Massa

2017 driver line-ups so far

FEATURE: When F1 team-mates fight for the title

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter