Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has explained why a race win would mean more than beating Ferrari to second in the constructors' standings.
The Silver Arrows face ending the season without a victory for the first time since 2011 with neither Lewis Hamilton nor George Russell yet to stand on top of the podium this team.
Hamilton pushed world champion Max Verstappen hard in Mexico City but a decision to fit the hard compound tyre at his only stop proved the wrong call and saw his challenge fade.
Despite struggling in the early stages of the season, Mercedes could still finish second in the standings to Ferrari with 70 points separating the two teams ahead of the São Paulo Grand Prix.
Asked whether he would rather see Mercedes score a win or finish second in the championship, Wolff said without hesitation: “A win.”
“The win would be proof that our car is back to fight for wins. P2 could be because the others dropped the ball and we’re just scoring more points.”
Mercedes deny excuses
The Mexico City Grand Prix saw second practice replaced by a Pirelli tyre test with teams unable to make changes to set ups in order to provide consistent data.
This situation will be worse still in Brazil, with the sprint format allowing just one session before qualifying on Friday and only minimal changes permitted thereafter.
Questioned if the poor tyre strategy in Mexico came from a lack of proper running, Wolff added: “No.
"Every mile counts but as a matter of fact, our models said that a soft-hard would go and our models didn’t say that a soft-medium would go. But it’s a learning curve.
"I think that some of the others were maybe also surprised that a one-stop was on the books with the soft and medium."