Shortly after securing both the 2017 Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships, Mercedes-AMG Petronas says it will consider the final two races of the year as the start of the 2018 season.
Speaking on the eve of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said the team will experiment new concepts for its 2018 car this weekend and at the season-closer in Abu Dhabi.
“[We have] the first two test opportunities ahead of the new season, trialing new and interesting concepts.
“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,” Wolff told Motorsport.
Being in the fortunate position to turn its attention towards the 2018 car will be a huge advantage for Mercedes, particularly since many mid-field teams are still fighting over positions in the constructor championships where a single position gained or lost can translate to tens of millions of dollars less or more in prize money. The fiercest competition will come from Toro Rosso, Renault, and Haas Ferrari, three teams separated by just six points.