Mercedes have brought a number of upgrades to their cars at Barcelona, mainly aimed at improving the pace on longer runs. Although there may be an improvement, both race drivers are still calling for further improvments.
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg both completed lots of laps during today's free practice sessions, mainly aimed at evaluating the new upgrade package along with the hard and medium Pirelli tyre compounds.
Lewis Hamilton said there is an obvious impact of the upgrades, but that he was less happy in the afternoon when temperatures were higher and the team focused on longer running: "The team have done a great job to bring our upgrades here this weekend and whilst I could feel the impact immediately, it's difficult to quantify how much of an improvement has been made at this early stage. After the first session this morning, I felt there was some good promise and the car was well-balanced but I was a little less happy in the different conditions this afternoon. We'll keep working on it tonight and see if we can make tomorrow a little better."
Team mate Nico Rosberg confirmed the single lap pace is still present: "It seems that we are quick again on one lap but we need to focus very much on achieving a good race pace. There is still a lot work to do but in general I felt that we had a good test programme today and learned quite a lot. It's difficult to manage the tyres in these conditions and we have seen a lot of graining today because of the lower temperatures."
Meanwhile, team principal Ross Brawn is cautious about the updates, waiting for the analysis later today to see how the car has improved and what still needs to be done.
Ross Brawn: "We've been working hard on improving our long runs and there are some signs of improvement today but we need to have a good look at the data this evening before making any conclusions. The car seems to be quite good on low fuel as we know. Tyre degradation is going to be a key consideration over the weekend and we must remain focused to ensure that we get the best possible performance from the car in the race. That's our priority."