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Mercedes provide update on Imola upgrades

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 05: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1

Mercedes have given an insight into the upgrades they are set to bring to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, with the team acknowledging that they need to work on their consistency across a weekend in order to benefit more from their updates.

The squad ran the first half of a new package last time out in Miami, while the second half will follow at the upcoming race weekend at Imola. Speaking in Mercedes’ post-race debrief video, Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin explained that the parts performed as expected at the Miami International Autodrome.

READ MORE: Hamilton thrilled with ‘tough battles’ in Miami while Russell rues ‘pretty rubbish race from start to finish’

However, he also admitted that the development rate of their competitors, along with some continued issues with their own car, can make it difficult to see this progress reflected on track.

“We managed to pull forward about half of our update kit to Miami and then the other half is going to arrive in Imola, and we are working hard on the future races to try and bring developments to them as well,” said Shovlin.

“Did it work as expected? Yes, it all looks like it is delivering the performance that we were hoping for from the floor. The issue at the moment is everyone else is developing their cars, so you saw McLaren with a big package and they look to have moved forward and also the handling issues that the drivers are having to battle with are making it hard to really see all that performance as a straight sort of step forward.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 03: 12th placed qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes walks

Hamilton qualified down in P12 for the Sprint in Miami, before scoring his best race result of the season with a P6 in Sunday’s Grand Prix

“What we tend to find is that the car from session to session can behave quite differently and until we get on top of that, we are always going to blunt the benefit that we can get from these type of updates.

“But after the last few races, we have got now a very clear idea of what we need to do to the car to get it handling a bit more easily for the drivers, making sure it goes where they want it to go when they are on those important qualifying laps.

READ MORE: Hamilton’s former team mate Rosberg gives his take on the 7-time champion’s Ferrari move – and whether it will pay off

“And we have also got quite a good sort of thread of updates that will be coming over the next three or four races. A lot of hard work is going on, but hopefully we will start to see the fruits of that soon.”

Looking beyond the next race on the calendar at Imola, Shovlin has given his take on what Mercedes can expect in terms of how well-suited the W15 might be at upcoming tracks, with one venue in particular offering a potential opportunity to get the car in the right window more easily.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 05: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1

Russell crossed the line in P8 at the Miami Grand Prix

“Coming up, we have Monaco, Montreal and then Barcelona,” he explained. “You have two circuits that are predominantly low-speed corners, certainly Montreal, it is all low speed. And then you have Barcelona, which with its new layout, where they have removed the chicane, is an extremely fast circuit. A lot of mid-speed and very, very, very high-speed corners.

“So quite a range for us to deal with. We are not expecting we are going to go to Monaco and suddenly be looking extremely quick. But what you can find is that the subtle differences in those tracks can expose those weaknesses a little bit less.

READ MORE: F2 racer Antonelli ‘excited for what’s coming’ after making ‘incredible’ F1 test debut with Mercedes

“If you took somewhere like Montreal, you are only dealing with one speed range, it can be a bit easier to get the car in the window. We all do all the normal preparation work, but fundamentally, we need to develop our way out of this problem by bringing performance updates to the car.

“That is what we are working on. And then at the track, we will just try and optimise what we have got as best we can, pick up as many points as we can in the meantime. It is really those two areas that we are working on simultaneously.”

Mercedes are currently holding fourth place in the constructors’ standings on 64 points, with the squad’s best race result so far being P5 for George Russell at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

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