Mercedes engineer Andrew Shovlin was pleased to see that the aerodynamic changes the team brought with them to Imola have helped, noting the car didn't struggle with poor rear grip like in Bahrain.
Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton finished 1-2 in both Friday sessions, a stark contrast to the first race of the season when Red Bull's Max Verstappen topped all the time sheets leading up the race. Although Hamilton is waiting to see what it all means given Red Bull had a few hiccups, Shovlin was pleased with the work Mercedes put in on Friday.
"We brought a few aerodynamic updates here and our early work today confirmed that they were performing correctly," Shovlin stated via a Mercedes press release. "The car has also had a reasonable balance from the start which has made working through the programme relatively easy.
"Generating tyre temperature isn't especially easy here - the air and track are cold - but at least we're not suffering from poor rear grip like we were in Bahrain.
"The traffic has been a bit of a challenge, both drivers struggled to find clear track at times but today is about understanding the car rather than setting quick laps and I think we have done some good work in that regard."
One area marked for improvement is getting the most out of the soft tyres.
"We've still not managed to get the grip out of the soft tyre on lap one so that's something we need to work on overnight," Shovlin added.
"We also can't say where we stand in terms of pace as we've not seen Verstappen on a single lap or long run but both drivers are reasonably happy with how the car is working and the issues we need to solve are all within the realms of normal setup tuning."