Mercedes technical director James Allison has explained how the world champions have made gains in the three week break from Bahrain to this weekend's Emilia Romagna GP.
Lewis Hamilton was victorious at the season-opener but Red Bull appeared to have the upper hand on raw pace. Allison has revealed where Mercedes have made their improvements to lead the way during Friday's practice sessions.
"We've definitely got the car happier than it was in Bahrain and we've had a pretty profitable couple of session," Allison told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the media.
"We tried to see the areas in which the car was protesting gently at us and finding a balance through the corner, that works better,
"But the key is nearly always the same and that is making sure the tyres are the right temperature at the front and rear axle and for braking through the apex and on the way out again."
Hamilton and Mercedes have been very open about the enjoyment they get from their rivalry with Red Bull and Max Verstappen. Allison echoes this and believes there is something extra special about an underdog coming out on top.
"It's always pretty intense," said Allison. "We love the race, we love the fight but we don't enjoy feeling second best and Red Bull was quicker than us in Bahrain.
"We've been, been doing our best to try and move our car forward so that we don't have to suffer that sting any longer than we have to.
"It's a different sensation from last year. I said internally that although last year was amazing, in many ways collectively producing one of the all time great racing cars and had a season that was pretty immaculate, there are not too many parts of last year that are deeply, deeply memorable.
"An easy win doesn't linger in the mind, one that is fought for tooth and claw, just like, in Bahrain. Winning from a position of underdog which is what we definitely were is just a brilliant experience and you remember it forever.
"I know I'll be boring my grandkids with it, if I'm ever lucky to have them."