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The current season may still be underway, but it is no secret that teams are already in an advanced stage of designing the cars for the upcoming edition.

Leaders Mercedes, it is believed, have adopted a completely new concept for next season.

The German outfit has been in top form of late, and it has coincided with Ferrari’s dramatic slip, paving the way for a fourth consecutive constructors’ title.

While it hasn’t been smooth sailing throughout the course of the season, there is little doubt that the Silver Arrows have done enough to secure their title and their star driver Lewis Hamilton, who has a 59-point lead over Sebastian Vettel, is also also odds-on favourite to win the drivers’ championship.

While Mercedes’ W08 has been fast, it’s also been inconsistent and subject to performance swings often at high downforce tracks, to the point where the car was labeled a ‘diva’ by team boss Toto Wolff.

Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport has claimed that the team’s design department — headed by James Allison – is certain to change its approach for 2018, with a higher-rake concept.

Many have cited an example with Red Bull’s effective use of the concept in recent weeks being the key motivator for Mercedes to finalise on it.

“It would be a total concept change,” said a Mercedes engineer, quoted by the German publication.

“It requires a completely different floor and diffuser type. And such a change includes the risk of a slow start to development.”

Allison, who took up the tech boss role relinquished by Paddy Lowe earlier this year, agreed that Wolff was spot on regarding the reliability of the car in the current edition.

“It’s not been a bad machine for us,” said the British engineer.

“However, we would like a car that is easier to throw at the race track and guarantee that we get every last little bit from it.

“The changes we have been able to make this year we have, and we hope that next year we make something with a slightly sweeter temperament,” Allison added.

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