Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is refusing to give up on his team's chances in 2022, despite their performance and points deficit to leaders Ferrari and Red Bull.
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton again had to settle for the 'best of the rest' positions at the Miami Grand Prix last time out, with the Silver Arrows now sitting a distant third in the Constructors' standings.
It came after Russell and Hamilton placed first and fourth respectively in Friday practice in Florida, as Mercedes trialled various updates on the troubled W13, only for normal service to be resumed across the remainder of the event.
Wolff: We've seen flashes of the car's full potential
However, Wolff was left feeling encouraged by Mercedes' practice findings, which have provided some much-needed answers ahead of this weekend's round in Spain.
"With the third quickest car underneath us, we extracted the maximum points possible in Miami," Wolff reflected.
"Considering George's start position, it was a great recovery drive, helped by when the Safety Car was deployed. But the timing was unfortunate for Lewis who was strong all weekend and on course to score P5 without the neutralisation of the race.
"I've no doubt that over the course of the season, a little luck will eventually go [Hamilton's] way.
"During Friday practice, the car showed flashes of its true potential. We continued experimenting with set-up, fitted some new components, and that's provided us answers and indications of which direction to go in."
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Cutting the gap to leaders Ferrari and Red Bull
Wolff is determined to build on those positives at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where he expects "every aspect of the car" to be tested by an "all-rounder" layout.
"A huge amount of hard work has been going on in the factories to unpick the data from Miami and turn it into improvements for Barcelona," Wolff continued.
"Having run there in winter testing, albeit with a car that has evolved a lot since then, it will be a good place to correlate the information we have on the current car and we're hopeful that we'll make another step forward."
He added: "In basketball terms, we head to Barcelona at the end of the first quarter of the game. We know that once we translate the learnings we've made into track performance, there's still a lot of the game left to play..."
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