Given the two following statements it would appear as if Mercedes intends to chase lap records this season before the new regulations slow these beasts down next season.
Excited to see how the ERA of Speed draws to a close. We are transitioning away from regulating the speed of F1 cars to and era were regulations are geared towards promoting close quarters racing. My main concern about these new regulations is how ontrack fighting will be judged. Id hate for F1 to devolve into the bumper cars of FE as if that is real racing.Mercedes technical director James Allison said Mercedes had worked hard on improving the car's aerodynamic efficiency, resulting in a car that has a lot more downforce than last year for similar levels of drag.
Allison added that among the improvements were an "adventurous rear suspension layout in order to free up aerodynamic development opportunity".