Mercedes have attempted to temper expectations ahead of their highly anticipated upgrade package coming for the next Formula 1 race at Imola.
The Brackley-based team were enlightened by the performance deficit to runaway championship leaders Red Bull in the opening rounds of the 2023 season and conceded that they went in the "wrong" design direction at the opening race in Bahrain.
Whilst Mercedes were 'never wedded' to certain features of their car, such as the skinny/zero sidepod design, the gap in performance prompted the team to rethink their 'design philosophy'.
With the team achieving just one podium finish so far in 2023 - thanks to Lewis Hamilton's second place at the Australian Grand Prix - their drivers, and especially the fans, have placed high hopes on what the wave of updates could bring for the rest of the season.
The upgrades, recently described as a "large surgery" by Team Principal Toto Wolff, will include a new floor, suspension and bodywork.
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Speaking in Mercedes' race debrief following the Miami Grand Prix, Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin emphasised the target to improve the team's long term fortunes, rather than expecting a quick fix.
"If we go all the way back to the test and race in Bahrain, that was where we realised that we didn’t have a package that was going to allow us to fight for a World Championship," said Shovlin.
"If we continued on that same development direction, we wouldn’t end up in a position where we felt we could challenge Red Bull.
"It was around that time that we took some decisions on how we develop the car, how the car works aerodynamically, and how we shape the characteristics of the car. In essence, how it is in terms of handling for the drivers to drive.
"What we are going to be bringing to the track in Imola is the first step of that work. This takes quite a long time to develop in the wind tunnel and you can't just do these things overnight.
"The Imola package are the first steps in that direction. We are hoping to bring other updates later in the year. We do hope that it is quicker, we hope that it's better in terms of qualifying and race pace.
"The key thing though is that we are not just looking to bring a lap time update, we are looking to head off in a different development direction. One that we think gives us a better chance in the long term of being able to challenge for race wins and World Championships."
What are your expectations of Mercedes for the rest of 2023? Do you think they can win a race? Leave your comments below!
Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the Miami Grand Prix.