Mercedes: Recent swings aiding progress
16 October 2017 – Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes the team has gained "a lot more understanding" about its performance swings at recent Grands Prix, and expects the outfit will benefit both in the short- and long-term.
Mercedes claimed victories in Singapore and Japan, and the runner-up spot in Malaysia, courtesy of Lewis Hamilton, but its overall pace varied, with the picture skewed by Ferrari's woes.
Hamilton took only fifth on the grid in Singapore, lost out to Max Verstappen in Malaysia, and was chased to the line by the Dutchman in Japan, while Valtteri Bottas struggled in comparison across the trio of events.
Mercedes' results were also distorted by a troublesome sequence of events for Ferrari, with the SF70-H's pace masked by incidents and reliability dramas.
Wolff nonetheless reckons Mercedes has profited from its fluctuating performance levels, and can implement lessons across the remainder of 2017 and for next year's package.
"We returned from those races with a lot more understanding of our car and of the reasons for the performance swings we have experienced this season," said Wolff.
"Some of that understanding is already being applied to the final races, some of it will flow into next year's project.
"But the bitter taste of our defeat in Malaysia once again confirmed that the tough days are the ones when you learn most – and when you lay the foundations for future success.
"[There are] still four races to go and 100 points to score: we can take nothing for granted as we fly to Austin this week.
"We approach every race with a healthy dose of scepticism rather than wishful thinking, and our focus must be on making sure we score every point within our reach this weekend in Austin."
Mercedes will clinch the Constructors' Championship for a fourth straight year if Ferrari does not out-score it by 16 points at the United States Grand Prix.