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Mercedes hopes for strong end to season as it looks to 2013

ESPN Staff
October 16, 2012 « Hamilton backs Alonso for title | Pirelli names tyre compounds for remainder of season »
Sauber is just 20 points behind Mercedes in the constructors' championship © Press Association
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Ross Brawn says Mercedes is hopefully the upcoming circuits will suit the W03 as it turns its attentions to the 2013 car.

Having started the season strongly - scoring the first win since its comeback with victory in the Chinese Grand Prix - Mercedes has slipped off the pace and Michael Schumacher was 13th in Korea while Nico Rosberg retired early. Brawn, however, believes the car will be more suited to at least three of the final four circuits.

"I think these next few tracks coming up - we're not sure about Austin yet - but they tend to come a little bit towards the nature of our car," Brawn said. "[Korea was] not necessarily the best circuit for us either, particularly the last complex, but the circuits we've got coming up if you remember last year we were a bit stronger in this batch of circuits. And there are still some things we want to try on the car during these four races particularly for next year."

Brawn admitted that Mercedes' focus was switching to 2013, but he said the team is not completely writing off this season with Sauber closing in on fifth in the constructors' championship.

"A balanced approach [to 2012 and 2013] I think. Our chassis team are designing next year's car; there are certain directions they want to confirm. The aerodynamic changes you saw [on Friday] we were trying on the rear wing are primarily for next year. So there's a mix.

"We don't want to sacrifice the remainder of this year for next year but it's a pretty strong aspect. At Suzuka we had two different rear suspension geometries we tried, we tried some other fundamental differences, so we're plugging those things in to the programme but we still want to have a pretty respectable performance for the rest of the year."