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Mercedes 'invisible' parts behind renewed F1 hope

It is what you cannot see that has played a key role in Mercedes' resurgence.

Hamilton FP3 Canada
To news overview © XPBimages

Toto Wolff believes it is the parts you cannot see on the W15 that have helped propel Mercedes back toward the front of the F1 grid.

Mercedes is no longer talking a good game this season but is finally delivering on track following its performance over the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

After changing concept over the winter, and learning to understand its capabilities, the team is now delivering upgrades to the original platform, pushing its way into what had previously been a three-way fight for wins between Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren.

At the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, George Russell delivered Mercedes its first pole position in 20 races but was unable to convert that into a first win in 19 months through the changeable conditions on race day, whilst two mistakes also undermined his result.

Mercedes still finished third and fourth, with Russell ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton, to offer enough hope a corner has been turned and that the weekend in Montreal was not a one-off.

A raft of new parts in recent races have played their part, with the most prominent being a front wing that was initially on Russell's car in Monaco, with Hamilton then taking possession in Canada.

Team principal Wolff, however, insists there is so much more to the upturn in performance. "Sometimes, when you bring a highly visible part, like bodywork or a front wing, it's pretty much the talk of what has changed the performance," he said.

"The truth, over the last three races, we have brought so many new parts - visible and invisible - to the eye, that have contributed milliseconds to more performance.

"This is where those marginal gains then have that positive effect, and that's as a result of the huge effort of the factory, and so I think the wheel has started to get some real motion now."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has questioned whether Mercedes' form in Canada was a one-off, and is now waiting to see if it can be replicated over the upcoming triple-header in Spain, Austria and Great Britain.

Wolff has confirmed more upgrades are due on the car at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. As to the extent, he initially joked: "Two seconds!"

More seriously, he added: "I can't tell you. Sometimes when things interact well with each other, the overall flow structure becomes more efficient, and you're able to optimise the ride heights.

"This bit by bit, we have found that we've added more performance, so another step in Barcelona, and hopefully, we will see it on the stopwatch."

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