Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the squad has relished clinching its third straight F1 world constructors' title but now must ensure a perfect end to 2016 to allow both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton a fair fight for the drivers' championship.
After Rosberg's win in Japan and Hamilton's third place secured Mercedes the F1 world constructors' crown, Wolff has been celebrating the success at the team's base before focusing attention to the United States Grand Prix.
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Despite sealing the F1 team championship with four rounds to spare, Wolff concedes Mercedes is still feeling the pressure to provide both drivers with reliable cars after the fallout from the Malaysian Grand Prix when Hamilton's engine expired due to a 'big-end bearing failure' preceded by a loss of oil pressure while the British driver was leading the race.
Immediately after the engine blow Hamilton demanded answers from Mercedes with rumours of sabotage which were quickly quashed by Mercedes chiefs.
“Our priority over the coming weeks is to give both our boys the best possible chance of winning the remaining four races,” Wolff said. “The title is purely between them, which is fantastic news for the team as we can be happy whatever the final outcome.
“However, the pressure is on to ensure that their battle is decided man-to-man, and hopefully wheel-to-wheel, on the race track. We may already have celebrated our Championship success as a team - but we have a responsibility to the drivers and will not let anything distract us from the job at hand.”
As well as ensuring a competitive battle between its two drivers over the final four races, Wolff says Mercedes will continue to split its attention towards 2017 in preparation for the regulations revamp as looks to defend its top spot honours.
“We have an entirely new challenge to prepare for in 2017,” he said. “While we savour these moments, it's going to be a long, hard winter ahead. There is much work to be done in the coming weeks and months - but also plenty of excitement on the way.”
POINTS: The F1 drivers' standings ahead of the United States Grand Prix
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