Ross Brawn insists that Mercedes will continue to develop its race-winning W04 chassis for the foreseeable future, despite the need to focus attention on the creation of an all-new 2014 machine.
While work is already well underway on next year's contender – as illustrated by Mercedes' decision to post the soundtrack of its new 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 on YouTube
[ see video
] - but Brawn maintains that, while the current car continues to be a threat for the top step of the podium – and, by extension, for the world title – attention will continue to be lavished on both machines.
Brawn's comments come at a time when most teams take the decision whether to focus on the future or trying to maintain a challenge in the current campaign, but the switch to an all-new powertrain, amongst other changes for 2014, is expected to push many towards abandoning development on this season's car.
"The focus to the 2014 car is almost a bit of soft transition,” he admitted in an interview on Mercedes' official YouTube
channel, “I don't think there's a point where you just stop doing anything with the 2013 car and everybody just swings onto the 2014 car.
"There are areas where we want to get answers in '13 to help us in '14. If we look at suspension systems, we think, fundamentally, the tyres will be similar next year, and therefore developing the suspension systems is entirely relevant for next season. So there are areas of the current car where we will still continue to develop - almost to the end of the season - because they can then follow on into '14.
"There are areas of this year's car which have no relevance to next year and we'll draw a line under those at some point. It does depend on how well the season's going - if we start to get a sniff of something which might develop [championship-wise] then that will have some influence on where we go.
"I think teams which don't have an opportunity will just draw a line under their '13 car and get on with their '14 car. We're fortunate in having to do both because we have a strong car at the moment, a strong team, we're on a run and we don't want to spoil that."
Lewis Hamilton's victory in Hungary at the weekend took Mercedes' tally to three for the season – Nico Rosberg having won in both Monaco and Silverstone – and the Briton currently sits fourth overall in the drivers' standings, 48 points off Sebastian Vettel. Mercedes, meanwhile, is second in the teams' table, 69 points adrift of Red Bull, but with nine races remaining.
Despite being embroiled in the row over illegal testing in a bid to help Pirelli solve its tyre woes, Brawn insists that Mercedes has been successful in introducing positive upgrades to the W04, and remains excited by the next batch of developments it has planned for the resumption of hostilities in Belgium.
"I know the things which are coming through on the technical front, and our hit rate has been pretty good on new technical innovations this year,” he confirmed, “Things we have brought to the track have generally worked, [and] we've got some things coming up in the next few races which could give us extra impetus, that extra momentum, to take us through the second half of the year."