Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes can make the most of two “freebie” races to experiment ahead of next season having already won both Formula 1 world championships.

Hamilton wrapped up his sixth world title last time out in the United States, adding to the sixth straight constructors’ crown Mercedes had already clinched in October’s Japanese Grand Prix.

The Briton says sealing both championships early provides Mercedes with the opportunity to trial some “different strategies” and processes at the final two rounds in Brazil and Abu Dhabi in preparation for 2020.

“I still want to win the races and it’s just as hard to win these races that are coming up,” Hamilton said after Friday practice at Interlagos.

“It’s almost a different approach for me now because you can be a little bit more aggressive and try some different strategies and different ways in how you go about the weekend and the processes.

“We’ve basically got two freebies to try some new things that can [help] next year. Next year we only have six days as opposed to eight of testing.

“So every tiny bit of an advantage you can gain in terms of changing things and gaining and being dynamic hopefully can pay dividends next year, so that’s our goal.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is missing his first grand prix weekend since joining the German manufacturer in 2013, with the team's title success freeing the Austrian up to focus on other business matters.

Hamilton, who joked Wolff’s absence has been a “breath of fresh air”, stressed Mercedes operations in Sao Paulo will not change.

"I think he has such a presence in this team that even whilst he’s not here he’s still here,” he explained.

“Everything that’s been set up is because of him and all the people that he’s put in place and everybody’s still here knuckling down as normal.

“Just because you don’t see them on the pit wall and don’t see them in the meetings but I know he’s done the debrief on the other end and listening to everything that we’re saying.

“So I think everyone’s behaving as well as they can.”

 

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