Mercedes said they are “encouraged” by their consistency of performance while maintaining their goal is to hunt down Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
For nine consecutive races, Verstappen has been untouchable but behind the Red Bull pairing, it is Mercedes who have fared best so far this season.
Along with Red Bull and Alpine, Mercedes are one of only three teams to have had both drivers on the podium in 2023 and are confident they have a car to build on for the future.
Mercedes hope consistency is path to performance
An inconsistent car in terms of performance was what led to many of Mercedes’ problems in 2022 as they struggled to make any progress when it came to developments.
It seemed to be a similar story at the start of 2023 when they unveiled a car that looked very similar to its predecessor but a switch to a B-spec design in Monaco has yielded results, allowing Mercedes to build on their performance race by race.
They are second in the Constructors’ Championship but have admitted their goal is to win races and they believe it is their consistency that will allow them one day to topple Verstappen.
“What we really want to do is win races,” Chief Technical Officer Mike Elliott said. “We want to have a car that is competing right at the front, particularly with Max in the Red Bull.
“I think where we are is we’re battling for that second place. Our pace was close to [Fernando] Alonso in the Aston Martin, close to [Lando] Norris’ McLaren and I think what we really want to do is get ourselves clearly out in front of the other cars and to chase down Max at the front.
“What is encouraging is that we are starting to see a level of performance from the car that is consistent race to race. We are not seeing the ups and downs, and we are able to get the best out of the car that we’ve got. I think that is encouraging going forwards.
As for upgrades, Elliott promised “a few more bits” to come over the course of the next few races.
“We brought an upgrade to Zandvoort and that did what we expected it to do.
“We’ve got a few more bits to bring over the course of the next few races and there is also quite a bit of optimisation work still to do; how can we get that last bit of performance out of the car through setup and more importantly, what can we learn for things that we want to do over the winter for next year’s car?”