The final two races of the season will be used to test “new and interesting” concepts for the next season says Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.
Mercedes secured its fourth consecutive constructor’s title at Austin and driver’s championship at Mexico city in spite of a stiff challenge from Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel for most of the season.
Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend and the final race at Abu Dhabi on November 24-26 gives Mercedes “the first two test opportunities ahead of the new season, trialling new and interesting concepts”.
Ahead of the Interlagos race, Mercedes promised to show its bold side by testing new parts and experimenting with concepts that are too risky to be trialled when competing for the title.
Explaining the idea, Wolff said: “It might be tempting to think that, with both championships now secure, the pressure is off for the two remaining races of 2017.
“That couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Inside the team, we are looking at the next two race weekends as the first two grands prix of 2018. We have two races that we are determined to win in order to take that positive momentum into the winter.
“There will be no backing off just because the championship business is now done.”
Two weeks ago, Lewis Hamilton won his fourth world championship title at the Mexican Grand Prix. Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas is just 15 points away from Vettel and will race hard to finish at the second place to prove that he is in the race for the championship next year.
Both of their drivers will fight to win in the next two races, Wolff assured. He also admitted that recent race winner Red Bull and Ferrari are coming in hard as serious challengers.
He added: “Lewis is operating at the peak of his powers right now, and will be determined to add another victory to last year’s success; Valtteri made a promising step forward in Mexico and will aim to build from this at Interlagos.
“As recent rounds have shown, winning grands prix is never easy. Red Bull has taken two victories in the past four races and, although we have claimed the other two, Ferrari remains formidable opponents.
“With the championship now settled, the battle for 2018 has already begun.”