Mercedes has set its realistic sights on fighting for F1 grand prix victories by the end of this season.
With the upgrades on the W14 that were introduced for the Monaco Grand Prix now shown to be working after more proven outings in Spain and Canada, the team is planning on vigorous and continued development for the remainder of the year.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has already stated a “larger” upgrade is due for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone from July 7-9. Speedcafe understands this is likely to include a new front wing.
Montréal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was certainly eye-opening for Mercedes as the pre-event feeling was the car would not suit the nature of the track.
Referring to the recent upgrade that included a new floor, front suspension and sidepods, chief technical officer Mike Elliott said: “We've now had a chance to see what that performs like at different circuits.
“First of all, we are really pleased to say that it has done what we expected. It's helped the car move forward and we are generally more competitive.
“We said before the weekend that Canada will be a more difficult circuit for us. It's mainly low-speed corners and straights, something that hasn't been brilliant for us in the past.
“So, to come out of the weekend to qualify with the cars fourth and fifth, promoted to third and fourth (on the back of a penalty for Haas' Nico Hulkenberg), and then to race in a strong way, beaten by (Fernando) Alonso, but for Lewis to race to third, and in George's case to show strong performance up until his crash, is a good result for us, and hopefully something we can take into the next few races.”
Elliott certainly feels Spielberg, and Silverstone especially, for the Austrian and British Grands Prix respectively, should play to the strengths of the car.
“Where we have seen the car struggling is more in the low-speed corners, and so we start looking at circuits that have got more medium and high-speed content,” said Elliott.
“We think we will do better there, so Silverstone will be a good example of that. Austria shouldn't be too bad for us either. So let's hope we go well on both of those.”
With momentum seemingly starting to build for Mercedes, Elliott added: “We are always conscious of the fact that we haven't produced a car that we want to produce.
“So it is really nice to now be racing at least for podiums, being able to show what we are capable of doing.
“Hopefully, we can turn that into more upgrades, more performance over the races to come, and hopefully start fighting for some victories by the end of the season.”