Mercedes are feeling good after another one-two finish in the second practice session on Friday, with trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin revealing the team were buoyed by one development in particular.
Lewis Hamilton finished ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas to give the Silver Arrows the momentum heading into qualifying on Saturday. Shovlin admits the team were happy with the work both drivers completed as the balance looked good, while their concerns regarding the rear tyres overheating look to be under control.
"We've managed to do some good work today, both drivers have a decent balance and we look to be in a reasonable place on all compounds," said Shovlin via a Mercedes press release. "Ahead of the weekend we were concerned that rear overheating would cause us more issues but things seem to be under control, even in the hotter conditions of the afternoon session.
"We still have work to do getting the best out of the tyre on low fuel as we didn't find as much time as some but we have a good baseline to work from."
Red Bull finished the second practice session in ninth and 10th, but Shovlin and Mercedes believe traffic may have played a role in their lap times which is why they're working under the assumption they are close on pace.
"Traffic was difficult today, it's a short lap and it looked like Red Bull may have been affected by that more than ourselves so we'll work on the assumption that they are very close on pace and we need to find everything we can overnight," Shovlin concluded.