Toto Wolff has offered an encouraging first update on the Mercedes W15 after simulation runs.
The team is hoping that its new car will enable it to climb back into race-winning form to challenge Red Bull for the titles after a first winless season since 2011 in 2023 with the W14.
That car was launched with the flawed zero sidepod concept but was abandoned at the Monaco Grand Prix for a more conventional design - although more fundamental architecture changes could only be made for the 2024 W15 design.
As part of the development, former F1 racer, turned WEC champion turned Sky pundit Anthony Davidson has been completing simulator work at the squad's Brackley base, with Wolff revealing Davidson has been impressed by what he has felt.
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Wolff's encouraging update on W15
"He was driving Melbourne [in the sim] and he said: 'The car feels like a car for the first time in two years'," Wolff said of Davidson's development work to The Telegraph.
"Obviously, I would love this to correlate to the track but we've seen in the last two years that this was not always the case.
"[I] always believe it's possible [to develop and catch Red Bull].
"You cannot start the season with an attitude of: 'This is not going to be possible.'
"We saw last year with McLaren what a huge step they made with a single upgrade.
"We've signed a two-year deal with Lewis, and we owe it to him, to George and to all the team to give it our full attention in 2024 and 2025. I think it's possible."