Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has stated that his squad is “ready” for a battle with Ferrari for second place in the Formula 1 standings this weekend in Abu Dhabi.
Mercedes currently occupies second in the Constructors' Championship, sitting just four points in front of Ferrari.
Charles Leclerc's last-lap move on Sergio Perez for second place at the Las Vegas Grand Prix has boosted Ferrari's chance of ending the campaign ahead of Mercedes.
It was the Italian squad that was the runner-up last year with Mercedes having to settle for third place at the end of the season.
Wolff feels that Mercedes is fully focused on ensuring it ends the campaign one position higher compared to last year with Red Bull once again running away with the title.
“Ferrari have closed the gap in the Constructors' to just four points and we're ready to give it our all in Abu Dhabi to come out on top,” Wolff said.
“They have shown good form recently, but we know we haven't maximised our performance in the past few races.
“It will be a close fight and hopefully we can finish the season with a strong performance and on the front foot.”
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Wolff rues missed opportunity
The previous round in Las Vegas marked a difficult race for Mercedes, with both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell getting into issues.
Hamilton had contact on the opening lap with Carlos Sainz before suffering a puncture later in the race amid a fight with Oscar Piastri.
Russell also took on damage when he came together with Max Verstappen while battling for position.
“Las Vegas was an extraordinary event,” Wolff added. “We saw a fantastic race, it was visually spectacular, and overall, a great Grand Prix that I am sure has helped increase the visibility of the sport in the United States.
“Everyone worked very hard to make it such a success and credit must go to all those involved.
“On track for us, it was a case of "what could have been?’. The pace of the car was strong.
“Without the numerous incidents of contact, both Lewis and George would have been challenging for the podium. But that's a case of could have, would have, should have.”