Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn has said that the next round of the F1 world championship could be make-or-break for the squad's championship push.
Speaking before Nico Rosberg's FP3 problems and Lewis Hamilton's failure to qualifying for the pole position shoot-out on Saturday afternoon, Brawn insisted that the team would continue to bring developments to the W04, but admitted that there would undoubtedly be a point where attention needed to turn full-time to the 2014 machine.
“Obviously, work that is unique to the current car would be taking away from next year's programme [but] if it's work that is still relevant for next year, of course we're keen to develop ideas and continue with developments that would be relevant for next year,” he told journalists at the Italian Grand Prix.
“Those sort of micro-decisions are going on all the time with what we should or shouldn't do. I think I said we'll have a clearer picture after Singapore about our emphasis going from Singapore until the end of the season. [We've in the middle of] Spa, [which is] a medium-low downforce circuit, Monza - a very low drag circuit, and Singapore, a high downforce circuit so, after that mix, we'll see where we are.
“There's very little variability left now in terms of what we can move from '13 to '14 and vice versa, so our programme is pretty set and we think we've got a programme that is not compromising the '14 car at all.”|
Hamilton's title chances were though to rest on a strong result from Monza but, after failing to put together a clean lap in Q2, the Briton will start from twelfth on the grid, while championship leader Sebastian Vettel claimed pole position and looks set to extend his 58-point advantage over Hamilton on race day.
Mercedes, meanwhile, is looking to wrap up second overall in the constructors' race. The Brackley-based squad is 77 points adrift of Red Bull, but only 17 ahead of Ferrari with eight races remaining.