Sir Lewis Hamilton is keen to push for second in the Constructors’ Standings amid some notable improvements for Mercedes in recent months.
The German side came into the season with a problematic W13 that seems to work under extremely specific conditions.
The “porpoising” and bouncing that has arrived with the re-introduced ground effect aerodynamics has proven tough on Hamilton and team-mate, George Russell, and the Mercedes team were forced to make compromises
The British pair have been taking some big hits out on tract due to the nasty impacts between the floor and the track surface, so the eight-time champions have, at times, struggled to run the car low to the ground – which is where it works best.
They cannot run it too high though, because they then lose too much downforce, as evidenced by Hamilton’s Q1 exit in Jeddah in round two.
Mercedes have come a long way since Saudi Arabia, with Hamilton and Russell taking their tally of rostrum appearances up to 13 between them.
The 24-year-old claimed his maiden pole position in Hungary, before the seven-time champion led his team-mate home for a double podium finish for the Silver Arrows.
It was their second consecutive having achieved the same feat a week before in France, and further top three appearances have been managed by Russell in Zandvoort and Italy.
This weekend, the circus rolls into Singapore, and the downforce-oriented Marina Bay Street Circuit is expected to favour Mercedes’ car.
Ferrari have lost a lot of points in the middle part of the season due to strategic errors and reliability woes, and while Red Bull are too far out in front, the Prancing Horses are reachable for Hamilton and Russell.
35 points separate the two teams in the battle for second, and as Mercedes celebrated a new partnership with Petronas in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, Hamilton was adamant in his belief that second is still very much up for grabs.
“Our goal is to try and get second for the team because that does make a huge impact for everyone back at the factory,” he said.
“So these next six races are just about maximum attack, nothing to lose and we’re just going to give it hell.”
While the Brackley-based team are expected to go well this weekend, the 37-year-old warns that the bumps could still play a key role.
“I would say Singapore should be a good track for us because it’s a high downforce circuit, however it is bumpy,”added Hamilton.
Hamilton topped the opening practice session on Friday, giving a further indication of Mercedes’ competitiveness this weekend.