Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has admitted that the Silver Arrows must remain “realistic” with their expectations, as a result of Sunday’s surprise double podium.
The Germans secured a 2-3 finish at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, something which wasn’t on the cards given that George Russell started 12th.
Lewis Hamilton and Russell both showed strong pace though, resulting in the team’s first double podium since the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix.
The result saw Mercedes move into second in the Constructors’ Championship, having overtaken customer team Aston Martin.
Based on Monaco and Spain, the new concept does appear to be working, with Mercedes’ “risk” to introduce a new concept seemingly paying off.
Despite the new concept though, Red Bull remain in a completely different league, as proven at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen claimed his fifth victory of the 2023 season on Sunday after finishing 24 seconds ahead of Hamilton, highlighting just how dominant the Austrians are.
Wolff recognises that it’s a “long way” to try and catch Red Bull, with the Mercedes boss noting that Mercedes need to be sensible with their targets as they continue to make progress in the right direction.
“I’m very happy with the hard work that’s been done in Brackley and Brixworth,” Wolff said in Mercedes’ post-race press release.
“We took some decisions to go in another direction, we changed so many parts and it was a risk, but everybody just pushed forwards.
“We need to be realistic. The temperature really suited us. It was nice and fresh, not too cold and not too hot. The car was in a great window.
“It’s a long way to catch up to Red Bull and we just need to grind away. It’s good to see the development direction is right but this is just the beginning.”
The medium and high-speed corners at the Spanish GP appeared to suit the W14 last weekend, suggesting that they’ll struggle at venues with low-speed corners.
Next weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix is a venue which boasts several low-speed corners, including, one of the slowest on the calendar.
With this in mind, the Canadian GP will likely be a much bigger test than the Spanish GP was.