Sao Paulo, Brazil - Champion Mercedes plans to use the final two races of the Formula One season to test new ideas and parts for 2018 now that it has won both titles.
The British-based team said in a preview for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix that, with nothing at stake, it could afford to become "a little bolder" and experiment in Friday practice.
The experiments could also be carried over into the race for newly-crowned four times world champion Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
"These two final weekends are not only an opportunity to test new parts," the team said. "but also allow experiments for those tasks that the team simply doesn't have the opportunity to complete during a normal race weekend.
"The team will have an intense programme on the next two Fridays in Brazil and Abu Dhabi to make the absolute most of the opportunities that have been afforded by early title success."
Mercedes won the Constructors' championship for the fourth consecutive year in Texas in October while Hamilton, now Britain's most successful driver of all time, took his fourth title in Mexico.
The team said it would be using prominent aerodynamic devices, of the type usually seen in pre-season testing and which carry extra weight, in Friday practice. It will also test some new pit-stop equipment and techniques in live conditions for the first time.
Team boss Toto Wolff said there would be no easing up when it came to racing, however.
"Inside the team, we are looking at the next two race weekends as the first two grands prix of 2018," he said. "We have two races that we are determined to win in order to take that positive momentum into the winter.
"Every time we race, we race to win. That is the mindset we take to Sao Paulo."Reuters