Lewis Hamilton says the Mercedes United States Grand Prix upgrade is the "first I've actually felt [an improvement with] in the ground effects era.
Since the adoption of new regulations for 2022, Mercedes has struggled to understand and develop its car as Red Bull has stolen a march on the field and claimed two dominant title doubles.
Mercedes abandoned its zero sidepod concept at the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year for a more conventional design, with the aim of creating a better base package for the 2024 W15.
Ahead of the US GP in Austin, the team has brought a new floor which Hamilton used to qualify third and was a contender for pole position until a poor final sector denied him.
Reflecting on the upgrade, Hamilton felt it provided a good boost but felt the team needed to push even harder to catch Red Bull.
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Hamilton's cautious optimism
"I don't really know if it is a signifier of anything for next year," Hamilton explained to media including RacingNews365.
"As we continue to experiment, we get more and more knowledge of where are we go, where we are routing the [air]flow of the car.
"The floor [we have brought] is not a huge amount of difference [to the previous specification], but there's always hype with someone's upgrade.
"The rest of the car is exactly the same and there's lots of areas in which we can improve - but this is an improvement.
"This is one of the first upgrades that I've actually felt [an improvement to performance with] over the last two years, so that is positive.
"We just need two or three times this step to put us in a super competitive mode, which I believe the guys can do."
Team Principal Toto Wolff added there are now "certain areas where [Hamilton] feels more comfortable, but that the W14 is "not suddenly super-fast."