Toto Wolff says Mercedes has identified what it got wrong last year in Singapore and is intrigued to discover how the theory applies in action against Ferrari and Red Bull.
The reigning F1 champions suffered their worst performance of 2015 at the Marina Bay Street Circuit when both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were comprehensively out-qualified by Ferrari and Red Bull. With Hamilton retiring early in the race with a power unit problem, Rosberg's best efforts could only give Mercedes fourth place having been outpaced.
READ: Rosberg out to end 8-year Singapore podium drought
Wolff says Mercedes has highlighted its mistakes from Singapore 12 months ago and is confident solutions have been discovered but says the team can't be certain until they are applied on track this weekend.
“It's a race where a single problem can cascade into many more as the weekend progresses. We have to optimise everything to get a solid result,” Wolff said. “We didn't manage it last year and, although we believe we now understand why, only performance on the racetrack can prove our conclusions right. We are curious and excited to see how it goes.
“Ferrari were mighty around this circuit last year and it will suit the high downforce design philosophy followed by Red Bull, so we must not make the mistake of thinking we are favourites this weekend. It's an exciting time for the sport and the future is looking bright.”
READ: How Vettel kept his cool while Hamilton burnt out in 2015
As Mercedes moves to the cusp on securing the F1 world constructors' title for a third consecutive year – Mercedes currently holds a mammoth 208-point advantage over nearest rivals Red Bull – Wolff has reiterated its goals of securing the championship but knows the drivers' title is likely to go down to the season finale between Hamilton and Rosberg.
“We now have to get the ball over the line in both Championships while remaining conscious that next year is a very different challenge,” he said. “For the drivers, I think their battle will go to the end and our challenge is to ensure they both have the equal opportunity to fight in terms of equipment and operations.”
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