Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn has said that the Brackley squad is determined to retake second place in the F1 constructors' standings back from Ferrari, but will not hinder the preparations for 2014 to ensure success.
Speaking ahead of the first of seven 'flyaway' races to conclude the 2013 campaign, the Three Pointed Star trails its Italian rival by three points after Fernando Alonso
and Felipe Massa
produced a 2-4 result on home soil at Monza, but Brawn is confident that his own pairing of Lewis Hamilton
and Nico Rosberg
can redress the balance provided the backroom team continues to produce a competitive car.
“Whilst our design and development priorities are naturally increasing towards our 2014 efforts, our aim is to extract the maximum from the car we are racing and regain our second position in the constructors' championship,” Brawn confirmed, “This will require a big effort from the team, combined with consistent points finishes from Nico and Lewis.
“There has been a lot of hard work at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth since the summer shutdown, and the developments that we have found will be introduced during the upcoming 'flyaway' races.”
Executive director Toto Wolff confirmed the dual focus, and said that Mercedes was confident that, after a disappointing weekend in Italy, the very different set-up requirements of Marina Bay
should suit the W04.
“This weekend's race in Singapore begins a gruelling series of seven races in ten weekends for the team and we are all focused on regaining some of the momentum we lost at the past two races,” the Austrian noted, “We expect the return to maximum downforce configuration to suit our car and we may see another shift in the competitive order between the teams.
“Singapore is a highlight of the Formula One calendar, with its unique setting and night race format, and provides the cars and drivers with tough tests of reliability and concentration during a race which usually lasts the full two-hour time limit. We will bring new developments to the car once again for this race and we are all focused on maximising the opportunities for both Lewis and Nico, in order to re-establish ourselves in second position in the constructors' standings.”
Both Rosberg and Hamilton admit to enjoying the Singapore experience, with the Briton a winner of the event during his time at McLaren. Rosberg, too, came close to success, only for a post-pitstop penalty to scupper his frontrunning bid with Williams.
“The Singapore Grand Prix
is a fantastic occasion and the whole weekend has one of the best atmospheres of the year,” the German confirmed, “For the drivers, it is one of the toughest races from a physical perspective as there are so many corners and no long straights where you can relax. It's also a very long race which runs close to the two-hour time limit.
“The chicane has been removed for this year, which I'm pleased about, and the track should suit our car, so I hope we can have a good weekend there. My best finish in Singapore to date has been second place back in 2008 and, of course, I would love to improve on that!”