Brawn: Pressure comes from within
Mercedes boss Ross Brawn insists Lewis Hamilton's impending move to the team does not bring any extra pressure.
Hamilton's switch from McLaren for 2013 has been the main focus of conversation in the paddock at this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, even allowing for Michael Schumacher's decision to retire at the end of the season.
Mercedes have struggled to compete with McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari in the three years since they returned to the sport as a constructor.
They have tasted victory just once in that time, when Nico Rosberg took his maiden win in China earlier this year.
With one of the sport's biggest talents joining their ranks from the start of next season, the Brackley-based team will be desperate to provide Hamilton with a car capable of regularly challenging for wins and championships.
Hamilton has said he does not expect to be in a position to challenge for the title in 2013, but the Briton's patience may be stretched if not given the tools to successful.
And the Mercedes board will also be keen to see a return on their investment, having committed themselves to the sport by signing the latest Concorde Agreement, which will run through to 2020.
"I think all of us are under substantial pressure but a lot of it is pressure you generate yourself," said Brawn, who has overseen eight world title successes.
"I think none of us have handcuffs holding us to this business, so there is pressure at every level. We are trying to go forward.
"Most of that pressure for me personally is the pressure from within - not the pressure from a driver or the pressure from a board."
During talks with Hamilton, it is understood Mercedes indicated to the 27-year-old they expected to take a major step forward in performance when Formula One switches to 1.6 litre V6 engines and introduces a more sophisticated Energy Recovery System (ERS).
But with McLaren themselves being powered by Mercedes, Brawn has rejected suggestions the German marque will get the drop on their rivals.
He said: "Our agreement with McLaren is to supply engines to the same specification. None of us really know how it's going to be in 2014 in terms of engine performance, engine reliability.
"There won't be huge differences. We have a one team policy, a one team principle. Our staff at Brixworth and Brackley work together as one entity and that does bring them closer than can be achieved with a customer, but McLaren are an extremely professional customer.
"Our ambition is to have the best engine in 2014 and McLaren will have that engine as well."