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Mercedes targeting Red Bull with 'plenty of firepower'

Mercedes Technical Director James Allison has insisted the resource is there to continue the team's recovery mission in Formula 1.

Mercedes Technical Director James Allison is adamant there is "still plenty of firepower" to improve the W14 in the quest to overhaul Red Bull's Formula 1 dominance. Lewis Hamilton secured a second-place finish at the Australian Grand Prix before the spring break to provide optimism for the German manufacturer after starting the campaign off as the fourth-fastest team. Whilst the pecking order between Mercedes, Aston Martin and Ferrari is likely to change from race to race, depending on track characteristics, Red Bull's stunning form has been carried over from last season into the new term with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez sharing the first three pole positions and race wins. Mercedes is expected to add a major update at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix with "visible" change promised, but Allison - who has swapped roles with now-Chief Technical Officer Mike Elliott during the four-week break - has insisted the car has been changing each weekend. "The flow of parts has already happened, you pretty much have a different car every weekend you take it racing," Allison told the F1 Nation podcast. "Sometimes it is a few more parts, sometimes a few fewer. We have had new things for each of the races, Baku won't be an exception. I would hope we can keep that coming. "You are constrained by cost caps and stuff eventually but we are at the stage of the season where there is still plenty of firepower there to keep putting lap time on the car weekend by weekend."

With three races completed, teams are beginning to identify strengths and weaknesses with their individual packages and can start to outline specific events at which their cars could perform at an optimum level. Asked if Mercedes could highlight potential positive weekends, Allison replied: "No, not really. It is quite early in the season to be diagnosing what your car is great at and isn't great at because the car is not a fixed thing, it is a platform that develops through the year. "If I had to pluck something out the air, I would say we tend to be a little stronger at the front-limited circuits rather than the ones that are heavily rear-limited. So a Bahrain-type track is all about how well a car can look after its rear tyres, Melbourne was a bit more on the front-limited end of the spectrum. "Other front-limited tracks, Barcelona is one, Silverstone another. But it feels too early to be predicting that because these are young rules, this is a young car and there is plenty to give to it."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying