Mercedes GP boss Ross Brawn says his team will not sacrifice the development of next year's car in order to beat Renault in this year's championship.
The reigning World Champion team is in fourth place in the standings, but with Renault 35 points behind with four races remaining. The German-owned squad has already shifted focus to next year's car, however, with which it is aiming to return to winning ways following a disappointing 2010 season.
Brawn has made it clear the team has no intention of doing extra work on this year's machine in order to stay ahead of Renault.
"We are all very competitive, we want to stay ahead of Renault," said Brawn. "There is no doubt that we would all be very disappointed if we fall behind Renault, but we have an agenda which is to be much stronger next year – and if you said to me do you want to be much stronger next year and forget about Renault this year, then I would say yes.
"Whether we are fourth or fifth quite frankly, isn't where we want to be – I don't want to be fifth, don't get me wrong, but we will do everything we can, but that is everything we can that doesn't affect the efforts going into next year's car."
The team boss also admitted he has been delighted with the performance of Nico Rosberg, who has overshadowed teammate Michael Schumacher for most of the season. Rosberg has scored 122 points to Schumacher's 46.
"I wasn't sure where Nico would be, and I am delighted with the performance that Nico is producing within the team; really, it was there from the very beginning," Brawn added. "Now he is starting to work more effectively with the engineers and the technicians and organization, because he has only worked at one F1 team before he worked for us.
"He is working extremely well. I heard comments about his fitness before he came to us and his fitness is excellent; there is no problem at all with his fitness, so I am delighted about that. I am really, really pleased with Nico's performance and he has set a tough standard for Michael to match.
"Nico will tell you he was a bit concerned coming into the team because of my relationship with Michael, the history, but he is comfortable with the way things have gone. We have taken a very balanced approach with both drivers and I am happiest when they both are beating each other alternatively, because it is not good if one driver is falling behind another.
"We know we want to see some progress with Michael. It is not there yet, but you see snapshots of his performance and we need to put everything together. I am optimistic that next year we will have a better package generally, but a package that Michael will find a bit easier to use."