Team boss Ross Brawn says Mercedes has to deliver on its potential in this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.
The team heads to Suzuka on the back of a tough race in Korea, where Lewis Hamilton
and Nico Rosberg
were both unable to replicate their qualifying performance on race day.
Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff said he was hopeful of a return to form
in the Japanese race, with Brawn also hopeful that one of the most challenging circuits on the schedule would yield strong results.
“The Japanese Grand Prix
is always one of the highlights of the Formula One season,” he said. “[Suzuka] is a fantastic challenge not just for the drivers but also the engineers. It includes an unusual number of medium to high speed corners, which make the circuit exhilarating to drive but also challenging to engineer.
“It is vital to find a comfortable, neutral car balance that gives the drivers confidence and can also look after the tyres, as this circuit is comparable to Silverstone in terms of the prolonged high lateral loadings they must cope with.
“It was a tough weekend for us in Korea so our clear target will be to respond to that disappointment with a result that delivers the full potential of the car we have developed this season.”
Having been unable to build on his front row start in Korea, Hamilton said he was keen to see what he could achieve if Mercedes can get his car 'hooked up' on race day.
“Suzuka is one of the few circuits we have left in Formula One with the authenticity of a real old-school circuit,” he said. “I drove there for the first time in 2009 and it takes a while to pick up pace each year because of how fast-flowing it is. If you touch the grass at any point, it's going to spin you off into the wall, so it's a much more demanding circuit in terms of precision, positioning and turning points for each corner. It's a real race track where you have to think ahead as a driver and it just needs crazy levels of downforce from the car.
“From my point of view, the car felt fantastic to drive in Korea when everything was hooked up, so I am excited to get to Japan and see what we can do there.”