Spain will show true Mercedes advantage
Mercedes executive director (tenchincal), Paddy Lowe, believes the Spanish Grand Prix will provide a good barometer for the true extent of his team's advantage over the rest of the field.
Mercedes has won every race this year by over 20 seconds to its nearest competitor and heads to the start of the European season with a raft of upgrades for the W05. Its rivals are all hoping to make ground after a three-week break and Lowe said the result of the weekend will set the tone for the rest of the season.
"The break in on-track action presents an opportunity to work on the cars and to bring more new parts to the next event than you would see during back-to-back race weekends," Lowe said. "Aside from being the first European race of the season, Barcelona is classically seen as the first big milestone for upgrades from the teams and we can expect to see quite a range of developments throughout the pit lane.
"The circuit itself is highly demanding on the cars: arguably requiring the best combination of power, handling and aerodynamics seen during the entire season. It's often said that a car which performs well in Barcelona will be a great car for the season, so we're looking forward to seeing where we stand relative to the competition."
Lowe insists Mercedes is not dwelling on its position at the front, and is determined not to give its rivals an inch in their pursuit.
"There has been no sense of complacency or backing off just because our car has shown strong performance in the opening few races. The objective is to not only match, but to better the development rate of our rivals and to build on our lead in both championships."