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How Mercedes aim to tackle a key Red Bull strength

George Russell has outlined one of the key changes made to the Mercedes car which he believes could provide a more competitive showing in this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

With Mercedes appearing lacking the pace of reigning Constructors' Champions Red Bull, George Russell has spoken highly about an upgrade being brought to the W14 this weekend. Mercedes endured a problematic test in Bahrain. At times, the W14 appeared difficult to handle, and Russell suffered mechanical troubles on the second day. The team managed to set times towards the sharp end of the timing screens on the final day, but both drivers had to run the softest available tyre to do so. The team also appeared lower down in the speed trap figures, something which Russell pointed to when asked about which areas Mercedes need to improve to compete with Red Bull. "I think naturally everybody's always looking for more downforce, and I think the tricky thing with these new regulations is trying to get the car as low as possible and gaining that downforce," Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com . "We probably need to be a little bit more efficient in the straight line. Red Bull have been very strong generally speaking with their drag "I think we may have made a small improvement this weekend, so I hope that is reflected in the speed traps, and that's almost a bit of free lap time." Article continues below image.

Russell: Mercedes have replaced a sub-optimal part

The Mercedes team made it clear that a lot of their focus this week would be on using the findings from the Bahrain test to improve their chances for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix. Russell highlighted that Mercedes' chances would be improved by the implementation of their lower-drag rear wing (pictured above), which he believed would help them in the speed traps. Whilst it's possible that Mercedes used a higher-downforce rear wing for the purposes of 'sandbagging' performance, the Briton nevertheless believed it would help their competitiveness. "We had a really good time between the test and the race to analyse what happened throughout the test," enthused Russell. "There were a few things going on with the car that we didn't quite expect, but we've been able to resolve those pretty easily. It was just working in slightly the wrong window. "So we'll put that change in for this weekend, we were running different rear wing in the Bahrain tests for some correlation work, and that wasn't an optimal rear wing for Bahrain either, so there are definitely positive signs. I'm not going to sit here and say we're going to find that that lap time deficit to Red Bull, but I'm definitely sitting here in a more comfortable place when I probably was on Friday night."

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