Mercedes is not yet ready to write off the rest of the season in favour of focusing its resources on to its 2013 challenger.
Although the German car manufacturer has almost no chance of closing down the 119-points gap to Lotus in the constructors' championship, it does face a battle to hold off Sauber, which is just 20 points behind. That is why team principal Ross Brawn has said that the squad needs to both keep pushing for this year, while not wasting effort that could be put to better use ensuring its 2013 challenger is a step forward.
"We need a balanced approach I think," he said. "Our chassis team are designing next year's car and there are certain directions they want to confirm. The aero changes you saw on Friday morning [in Korea] with the rear wing [double-DRS] are primarily for next year. So there is a mix.
"We don't want to sacrifice the remainder of this year while working for next year, but there is a strong aspect [of looking to 2013].
"At Suzuka we had two rear different suspension geometries, and we had some other fundamental differences, so we are plugging those things into the program. But we still want to have a respectable performance for the rest of the year."
Although Mercedes has struggled for results in recent races – having not scored any points since the Singapore Grand Prix - Brawn thinks that venues coming up should suit its car better.
"I think these next few tracks coming up – although we don't know about Austin – will tend to come a bit toward the nature of our car," he said. "There are still some things we want to try with the car in the last four races, particularly for next year."