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Mercedes highlight the key issue they need to get on top of

Mercedes' Andrew Shovlin says he expects the team to unlock plenty of performance from their W13 quite quickly.

Mercedes are confident that they will be able to get on top of their current performance deficit to Red Bull and Ferrari, once they overcome a particular issue with their W13. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were set for a distant fifth and sixth in Bahrain until late issues for the two Red Bulls and a Safety Car intervention brought them back into play. Following the late drama, Hamilton snatched a surprise podium, with Russell promoted to fourth, and Mercedes have outlined where they need to focus their efforts for upcoming races. "Our priority has to be to get on top of our current performance issues," Andrew Shovlin, Head of Trackside Engineering at Mercedes, explained after the race. "We don't have a car to fight for pole or race wins, and that isn't something that we can tolerate for long if we hold ambitions to win the championships. "The balance was quite tricky, but the main issue is just a lack of grip, caused by the fact that we have to run the car so high to avoid the bottoming."

Can Mercedes find some short-term fixes?

Shovlin went on to explain that the team have identified ways in which more car performance can be unlocked within a reasonably short timeframe. "The gaps are pretty big, but we can see so much performance that we can bring relatively quickly," he said. "The team has also worked well and the car has been reliable. "We have a lot of ideas to explore to improve our pace and we'll be working hard over the next few days and weeks to bring those to the track."

A weekend of damage limitation successfully achieved

Having struggled for outright pace throughout the pre-season tests, Shovlin added that Mercedes were pleased to have successfully brought home such a strong points haul when it was anything but expected. "We knew we weren't quick enough coming into the weekend, so our goal for this weekend was one of damage limitation in the championship," he commented. "In terms of pace, we're more or less on our own; we couldn't realistically put any pressure on Red Bull and Ferrari, and we weren't really under any pressure from behind. "This allowed us to play a bit with the strategy, moving quite early to a three-stop with Lewis."

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