Sports

Intense rivalry between Hamilton and Rosberg goes up heading into final race of F1 season

  • Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany listens to a question during a news conference at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. With double points on offer in the Formula One finale, there could yet be a bitter twist to the fascinating title duel between Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Emirates Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany listens to a question during a news conference at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. With double points on offer in the Formula One finale, there could yet be a bitter twist to the fascinating title duel between Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Emirates Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, left, stands with his teammate Nico Rosberg of Germany prior to a news conference at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. With double points on offer in the Formula One finale, there could yet be a bitter twist to the fascinating title duel between Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Emirates Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, left, stands with his teammate Nico Rosberg of Germany prior to a news conference at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. With double points on offer in the Formula One finale, there could yet be a bitter twist to the fascinating title duel between Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Emirates Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany attends a news conference at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. With double points on offer in the Formula One finale, there could yet be a bitter twist to the fascinating title duel between Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Emirates Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany attends a news conference at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. With double points on offer in the Formula One finale, there could yet be a bitter twist to the fascinating title duel between Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Emirates Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

The intense rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg increased Thursday heading into the final race of the season with Rosberg taunting his Mercedes teammate by urging him to "drive cleanly."

Tensions between the pair have spilled over on two notable occasions this season, at the Monaco Grand Prix in May and the Belgian Grand Prix in August.

Only 17 points separate Hamilton, the championship leader, from Rosberg ahead of Sunday's Abu Dhabi GP.

With double points up for grabs, Rosberg can clinch his maiden title — and deny Hamilton his second — if he wins the race and Hamilton finishes third.

Hamilton has won five of the past six races, and finished second in the previous race in Brazil.