Mercedes has "clear indications" for W10 development
Mercedes team technical director James Allison says that the F1 team has "clear indications" of what development direction it needs to take after trailing Ferrari during the Bahrain GP.
Although Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas ultimately finished one-two after Ferrari's Charles Leclerc had an engine issue, the Maranello cars had superior pace all weekend.
Allison admitted that Mercedes was fortunate to emerge with so many points, and made it clear that the team wants to make a big enough step that it can win on merit.
"A huge result for us," Allison said in a Mercedes video. "And a great relief therefore on a weekend where we were not that competitive to come back with such a strong haul of points.
"To come back with those points and also to come back with clear indications of what we need to do, and the directions we need to take to develop our car so we will not suffer the same sort of problems that we had with it in Bahrain.
"And of course, our aim will be that over the course of the season, we bring enough performance to the car that even when we stumble slightly, we can still be out in front.
"That's the aim of every team. But, it's one that we are determined to deliver on here and one that we have been reasonably good at over previous seasons."
Allison said the W10, which dominated the Australian GP, had been "unhappy" and "nervous" in Bahrain right from the start of the weekend.
"Very different tracks with different characteristics, and we right from the outset had a car that was a little bit unhappy," he added.
"Where it had flown in Melbourne, we had a car instead in Bahrain that was a bit nervous at the rear end, which was a bit hard on its tyres, which was suffering a bit with overheating at the rear.
"All those things meant that we just lose a tenth or two here or there and compared to a Ferrari that seemed to be having in Bahrain the weekend that we had just two weeks earlier in Melbourne."
Allison insisted that the team's strong form in Australia was a surprise.
"Probably the simplest answer is because this is a really, really difficult sport, where you have to get absolutely everything perfect if you want to have a weekend like you had in Melbourne.
"We were immensely strong there and everything seemed to go our way.
"We'd expected a much tougher result in Australia, coming off of winter testing we expected perhaps even to be chasing a Ferrari in front of us.
"But instead we found ourselves flying in every session, in qualifying, in the race and in the free practice, and able to just effortlessly breeze out into the lead and get a really strong result.
"And then we go to Bahrain, and instead we find ourselves on the back foot."
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