Mercedes technical chief James Allison believes the steps taken to master the team's erratic W08 this season will help deliver a much stronger overall package for 2018.
Mercedes is on the cusp of securing both world championships for a fourth consecutive season, although that belies the fact this has been its most difficult campaign since the start of the V6 turbo era the team has dominated. A resurgent Ferrari has taken the fight to Mercedes all season, with the world champions struggling at various points with a car team boss Toto Wolff has frequently labelled a "diva".
Despite capitalising on Ferrari's season-destroying run of misfortune at the last three races, Mercedes was far from comfortable in Singapore and Malaysia, circuits which exposed some of the W08's glaring weaknesses. Allison, who joined Mercedes this year after a stint at Ferrari, is confident the team understands enough about its current contender to avoid a similar situation next season.
"Well it is difficult, but it doesn't disobey the laws of physics!" Allison said when asked about the unpredictable nature of the team's car. "It is clearly understandable but that doesn't mean that it is always very easy to get the very best of it. It's been a challenge this year to achieve the results that we have with it, nevertheless we have achieved some pretty decent outcomes with it so it's not been a bad machine for us.
"However, we'd like a car that is easier to throw at the race track and easier to guarantee that every time we come racing we get every last bit from it. Such changes that we have been able to make this year we have and next year we hope we make something with a slightly sweeter temperament."
Mercedes has stayed at the front of the grid this year despite a huge regulation change for 2017 saw a complete revolution of F1 cars, which became faster, wider and more aggressive-looking. Coming into the season that predicted something of an unknown for every team, but Allison says that will not be the case for 2019.
"While last year was more of a blank sheet of paper and therefore you had more design choices to make, that was true for everybody and we go into next year with a lot more information about how these cars behave and therefore with clearer ideas about what we would like to do about the next season.
"But that's true for everybody and therefore everyone will be better guided and the overall difficulty to be the quickest will remain the same because the new challenge of refining your current weapon will be the same for everyone."