Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff has stressed the team is not becoming complacent or easing up despite already securing both the drivers' and constructors' championships in 2017, instead switching focus to laying the groundwork for another successful title defence in 2018.

Mercedes became the first team to defend its titles across a major technical regulation change after seeing off an enhanced threat from Ferrari to clinch the teams' title at the United States Grand Prix last month, with Lewis Hamilton taking his fourth drivers' crown one week later in Mexico.

Although the remaining two races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi are dead rubbers in the championship races, Wolff vowed Mercedes would continue to fight as it has done all season long in order to get ahead of the game for 2018.

"It might be tempting to think that, with both championships now secure, the pressure is off for the two remaining races of 2017. But that couldn't be further from the truth," Wolff said.

"Inside the team, we are looking at the next two race weekends as the first two grands prix of 2018. We have two races that we are determined to win in order to take that positive momentum into the winter. There will be no backing off just because the championship business is now done.

"In fact, these next two races speak to every principle that makes us what we are. We aspire to excellence in everything we do, from the first lap of the winter shakedown in Silverstone to the final lap of the post-season test in Abu Dhabi. And every time we race, we race to win. That is the mindset we take to Sao Paulo.

"Lewis is operating at the peak of his powers right now, and will be determined to add another victory to last year's success; Valtteri [Bottas] made a promising step forward in Mexico and will aim to build from this at Interlagos.

"As recent rounds have shown, winning grands prix is never easy. Red Bull have taken two victories in the past four races and, although we have claimed the other two, Ferrari remain formidable opponents. With the championship now settled, the battle for 2018 has already begun."


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