| AP Photo/Lee Jin-man
Mercedes will be balancing its workload to ensure that it not only spends adequate development time on next year’s car but also to keep Sauber’s challenge this season at bay.
Lotus’ fourth place in the constructors’ championship is relatively safe with a 119 point buffer but the German manufacturer’s fifth spot is under threat from the Swiss squad with 20 points separating the two teams with four races to go.
After failing to score in the last two races, Mercedes now has to juggle between the steep task of maintaining its current position in the standings and developing its 2013 challenger.
"Our chassis team are designing next year's car and there are certain directions they want to confirm. The aero changes you saw on Friday morning (in Korea) with the rear wing (double-DRS) are primarily for next year. So there is a mix,” team principal Ross Brawn told Autosport. "We don't want to sacrifice the remainder of this year while working for next year, but there is a strong aspect (of looking to 2013).
"At Suzuka we had two rear different suspension geometries, and we had some other fundamental differences, so we are plugging those things into the programme. But we still want to have a respectable performance for the rest of the year," the Englishman insisted.
Brawn expected three of the next four tracks, the exception being the Circuit of The Americas, to suit the Mercedes providing the team some advantage to achieve its goals.
"There are still some things we want to try with the car in the last four races, particularly for next year," he said.