Mercedes AMG have been working the last two weeks analysing their lack of race pace at Bahrain. Along with a planned updated package for Barcelona, the team will therefore also try out some new elements to improve their racing positions.
Ross Brawn pointed out that the team focused on two key areas in preparation for the start of the European season in Barcelona next weekend: "We have focused our efforts in two key areas; finalising our upgrade package for Spain and understanding our comparative lack of race pace in Bahrain. We have made progress in the latter area and will evaluate some developments over the upcoming race weekends to help improve the situation. We're not there yet but we are making progress and of course, performing in the race is what really counts."
Having in mind that Mercedes' performance was solid during winter testing, Brawn is aware the different conditions will make it a totally different challenge.
"The Circuit de Catalunya is a circuit that we know well and we have a lot of data from the two pre-season tests to help prepare for the weekend. However in the late spring conditions, we can expect the track to be of a very different nature to what we experienced earlier this year. Overtaking is more difficult there than at some of the early season tracks and, of course, every team will be bringing new developments so the weekend should provide an interesting challenge."
An additional factor is of course that other teams will bring updates, and traditionally those air fairly major at the first European race event of a racing season.
Toto Wolff, the team's executive director, acknowledged this: "Our target is to improve our Sunday afternoon performance to match what we have delivered on Saturday in the past two races. It will certainly be interesting to see what gains everybody has made since the last time we were at the circuit and how the planned upgrade packages work from car to car."