Formula 1 is heading into the last two races of the season with the battle for the Championship still open and as tight as it has ever been in the last few seasons: only eight points separate Lewis Hamilton from the leader, Max Verstappen.
The Mercedes driver thinned out the gap from Verstappen over the triple header that just finished, with a 2nd place and two wins and the layout of the track in Saudi Arabia looks quite promising for the silver arrows.
"We've seen pretty big swings of performance over the recent races, [but] if we look at the track in Saudi, I think it should suit us," said Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ trackside engineering director.
"For Lewis, we have got the more powerful engine to go in the car, so that's going to give him a useful engine."
For the next race Hamilton’s W12 will be running the same engine used for the Brazilian GP.
"There are two [power units] that we are racing. Here we had the less powerful of the two in the car, due to the nature of the circuit. So that side of it is in a good place at the moment," he explained.
"The track should suit the car, but then we would have probably said in Austin that we would have felt that we should be able to put together a decent set-up and take the fight to Red Bull, and they had a bit of an edge there."
A more powerful engine will certainly be a massive advantage for Mercedes around the Jeddah circuit. Shovlin, however, is still cautious about how the weekend will turn out for the team, but assures that back in Brackley they are working hard to be prepared and get the most out of the weekend.
"So we're always cautious to go to a race thinking that it's all going to go our way,” he said.
"What we do know though are the things we've got to get right on the set-up, what we need to get right on the tyres and how they're working, and that's what we're going to be busy doing over the next few days, making sure we're taking every possible opportunity to arrive there in good shape.”
"With a new circuit, arriving in good shape is such a big thing from the learning curve, if you've got a good car to start with, you can just improve it from there."