The Mercedes Formula 1 team is anticipating an increased challenge at the Canadian Grand Prix next week compared to the Barcelona round.
In Spain, Mercedes endured a difficult qualifying session with George Russell dropping out of the session in Q2.
However, the W14 showed strong pace during Sunday’s grand prix with Lewis Hamilton and Russell crossing the line in second and third respectively.
It marked the first true test of Mercedes’ upgraded package which was originally introduced in Monaco.
“The fact is that the update kit works very well around circuits like Barcelona with a lot of high-speed performance,” said Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin.
“Although, the car itself would have still been okay there because we’ve been better at the fast circuits and the front-limited tracks.
“We ended up with a really good balance and really good race pace. Now, where we are going to go next week, Montreal, it’s a very different circuit.
“There are more low-speed corners, quite a lot of straight-line full throttle and we would expect more of a challenge there.
“We are not thinking that we are going in nipping at the heels of Red Bull. We are going in there prepared for a battle with Ferrari, Aston Martin, and maybe even Alpine.”
And while Mercedes had its most competitive round of the year in Barcelona, Shovlin expects that there will be a great challenge to repeat the result in Montreal.
“It was certainly really good fun to be part of that race and to be able to get the double podium as well,” he said.
“We’ve had a few tough races recently and while we brought home a decent amount of points, it is so nice to get both of the drivers back on the podium after a bit of a break.
“What do we expect from Montreal? As I said, we are thinking it will be more along the lines of some of the earlier races where we were definitely in the bunch with Ferrari, with Aston, and now Alpine look to have joined that group. But it’s great racing there.
“It will be good fun and we are certainly going to be fighting to find every little bit of performance we can because the way the grid stacks up now you can be P2 or you can be P10, and there are only a few tenths in it.
“We are looking forward to more exciting racing but certainly we are aware that Canada is likely to be a bigger challenge than the Sunday we just had in Barcelona.”