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Mercedes reveal encouraging sign that allows them to 'experiment'

As they continue to work on fixing their car issues, Mercedes admit a big task lies ahead of them. However, the team also believe they have an advantage on their side.

Mercedes have explained how their place in the pecking order is helping them as they try to resolve their car issues. It has been a challenging start to the 2022 campaign for the Silver Arrows, with the team struggling to match the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull ahead. Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin admits that making up this deficit poses quite a task for the Brackley-based squad. "We're under no illusions what that performance gap is and, in Jeddah, it was ultimately a bit bigger than in Bahrain," Shovlin said in a Mercedes race debrief video following the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. "But we've got quite a lot to find both in qualifying and on long run if we want to challenge the Ferrari and the Red Bull cars."

Why Mercedes can "experiment" in bid to solve issues

However, despite the distance to the leading two teams, there is still a reasonable gap between Mercedes and the rest of the midfield which, according to Shovlin, offers them the opportunity to test out different solutions. "Behind us, it looks like we have a bit of margin to that midfield," he explained. "We need to do a good job to be ahead of them, but we have a bit of margin, and that buys us a bit of breathing space to allow us to experiment on the weekends, to try and bring solutions to lift the level of performance of the car. "So, ultimately though, this is a problem that is going to be fixed back at the factories, both in Brackley and Brixworth. "Everyone is working very hard to try and understand the issue and bring solutions, and we are going to be doing that in a phased way over the next few races."

How Mercedes will approach upcoming races

As well as the work going on back at base, Shovlin says that Mercedes will also try to carry out damage limitation at the track on race weekends. "At the track, we are going to be doing as much as we can to minimise damage, to score as many points as possible," Shovlin said. "So, really there is two elements to this: maximising the performance in a given weekend, but then the bigger part of this is trying to get back to a level where we can compete for pole positions and for race wins." Given Red Bull's double retirement at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Mercedes are currently P2 in the Constructors' Championship with 38 points, one point ahead of Max Verstappen's team. George Russell has scored 22 points in the opening two races, whilst Lewis Hamilton - who had a particularly difficult weekend in Jeddah - has 16 points.