Toto Wolff has admitted that managing the transition between focusing on the 2016 and 2017 seasons is currently a major topic at Brackley.
The back-to-back world champions are once again leading the standings in 2016 but under increasing pressure from Red Bull and Ferrari.
But next year, the chassis and tyre rules are changing significantly, raising the prospect that teams who switch their focus early could get a head-start for 2017.
“Every week we are analysing how many resources we want to move in the direction of the 2017 project,” Mercedes team boss Wolff told DPA news agency.
“It is a very tricky subject,” he said ahead of the Hungarian grand prix, which will mark the half-way point in the current race calendar.
Wolff added: “Some teams stopped their development for 2016 very early. This gives them an advantage, because the learning curve at the beginning of a new set of rules is very steep.”