Juan Pablo Montoya has suggested that Mercedes are about four races behind Red Bull and Ferrari in the development stakes but that he expects the Silver Arrows to use the Spanish Grand Prix as a good building block.
The W13 has been a problem child this season for the Mercedes team, with them struggling to really extract the full potential they feel the car has thanks to porpoising.
However, it looks as though they are starting to solve the puzzle with them seeing a far more competitive weekend performance put in over the course of the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, following a host of upgrades being introduced.
A positive sign for Merc, then, and Montoya believes it’s now about layering up the updates and building on the foundation, with them probably about, in his mind, four races behind Red Bull and Ferrari in the developmental stakes at the moment.
“I think this is the first step,” Montoya said to Vegas Insider.
“They are behind about four races.
“I think this is the first race for Mercedes where they go: ‘Okay, we have a baseline. We can work from here. We have enough speed now to get the job done. We have got rid of the porpoising in the cars. Not bouncing anymore down the straights. We can run the car where it needs to be run. Now, what do we need to do to improve it?’
“That’s why I feel they are three of four races behind, because all the development they’ve done is to get rid of the porpoising.
“Now that the porpoising is gone, it’s going to be very interesting to see how quick the car becomes and how fast it can get upgrades.
“You have to remember, they fixed this and they probably have in the pipeline two or three more upgrades coming. And they are probably waiting for this to see how it works on the track. And as soon as they see progress on this they say: ‘Okay, next upgrade’.”