Toto Wolff feels the double Formula 1 podium hauled by Mercedes in the Spanish Grand Prix has vindicated their development direction is the right choice.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished second and third in Barcelona as the team hauled their best result of the season in the race after they introduced the huge upgrade package to the W14.
The car looked second best over the weekend although they missed out on a front-row slot in qualifying, but superior race pace enabled both Hamilton and Russell to finish ahead of the recovering Sergio Perez as winner Max Verstappen finished 24 seconds ahead.
Wolff's delight at upgrades
"Let's keep our expectations real, there's such a long way to go in order to catch Red Bull, and we just need to grind away," Wolff explained to Sky Sports F1 after the first podium for the team since Australia.
"It's a good moment to see that the development direction is right.
"We just need to chip away and as you know from our lap times, we are really good at grinding.
"Once there is a set-up direction and a development direction, we just go for it and we have that advantage in terms of aero time, but we also need to be realistic.
"Today the temperatures really suited us, it was nice and fresh and not too cold or not too hot, the car was in a mega window.
"We needed the shock at the beginning of the season to understand that [the old car] is not going forward, and there was much more performance to be gained [by changing concept]."
Gap to Red Bull
Verstappen crossed the line 24 seconds ahead of Hamilton, and while Wolff admitted that this was still too big a gap, he felt it was not a true representation of the pace between the two cars.
"I think it was less, Lewis was cruising at the end, I think it was two or three seconds [he lost], so the gap is probably around 15 seconds, but over 66 laps, that is still a lot."