Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Technical Director James Allison is anticipating a close fight between the top teams at this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.
'Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good'
The last few races have been far from straightforward, but good fortune has produced unexpected results and helped Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes extend their leads in both Championships.
Formula One is back in action at Suzuka this weekend and James is expecting a close battle at the front of the field after the team's encouraging showing on Friday.
"Well, they're two weekends that showed that it's sometimes better to be lucky than good," he said, of Singapore and Malaysia. "Nevertheless, if you look at the season as a whole, it has been divided into three types of experiences.
"There have been a few races where we have come out and crushed everything in front of us. There have been a few where we've had the other end of that deal, where we have definitely come off second best and then a whole lot in the middle where it has been pretty much a 50/50 slugging match.
"The last two were in the category where we got beaten for pace. We're hopeful from what we've seen so far this weekend that this one will not fall into that category and that we will be putting up a decent fight of it. I suspect that it will fall into the slugging match category that most of this season has been so thrilling to be part of for."
'Every team faces the dilemma'
The end of the 2017 Formula One season may be in sight, but many teams are facing the tricky task of diverting attention to 2018 while still battling for important results this year.
"The truth of it is that every single team, every single year faces the dilemma of how they ramp down their efforts on the car that races and how they ramp up their efforts on the car that will race next year," James explained.
"Every single one of us, the teams that is, will be transferring a substantial amount of resource onto next year's car.
"But, there is still an amount of residual resource, more than residual, going into this one to make sure that those developments keep coming until later in the season."