Mercedes: Previous success means nothing ahead of a 'two-year championship'

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff isn't resting on past success as his team prepare for a "two-year championship" in 2020.

This season sees the German manufacturer look to continue their already historic run of six consecutive double championships for a seventh and into a new decade.

At the same time, however, Wolff explained how 2020 is going to be a unique year as Mercedes, and the rest of the grid, look to remain competitive into a new era of F1.

“This year’s championship is a two-year championship,” he said at the launch of a new partnership with INEOS in London on Monday.

“It is not only about 2020 under the current regulations. There’s such a massive regulatory change for 2021 and balancing your allocation of resource will be crucial in terms of how much of your resource you’re switching into the 2021 car.

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“Obviously, the learning and development slope is much steeper at the beginning. So if you get it wrong and you’re months behind, you might be half a second behind.

“And this is a challenge which we have embraced in the past through two regulatory changes, and we love that one.”

It is true that Mercedes' superiority has not been solely down to their engine but also by adapting to new aerodynamic regulations, particularly in 2017 when Ferrari initially became a much bigger threat.

And this year is expected to see a two-pronged attack on the Brackley team's dominance with the Scuderia and also Red Bull, both of whom have launched their 2020 cars in the past 24 hours.

“Every year we try to set the right objectives, and objectives that are understood throughout the organisation,” Wolff said on how Mercedes will approach 2020.

“I think it’s so important to wake up with purpose, and I don’t see a lack of motivation and purpose within the organisation.

“The pain of losing is so much more intense and lasts so much longer than the joy of winning and this is in a way what drives us strongly. The sheer thought about losing makes you forget about all your previous achievements.

“Last year’s record doesn’t buy us any credit for the 2020 championship," he noted. "So all lap times, all points go to zero and we are yet again in front of another challenge

“In a way, there is a reason why six was a world record because it’s bloody difficult and we want to push that needle further.”