Ex-Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer is remaining cautious over Mercedes’ upgrades following its positive performance at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Mercedes scored its first double podium of the year with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell crossing the line in second and third respectively.
At the previous round in Monaco, it unveiled its first major upgrade of the year as Mercedes commenced a new development path, however it looked to Barcelona for a clearer understanding of their potential due to the unique layout of the Monaco track.
Hamilton hailed the performance of the car, stating it was the best it had felt since the end of the 2021 season, before the new technical regulations were introduced.
However, team boss Toto Wolff said the cooler conditions in Barcelona on Sunday aided its push to extract the most potential out of the car.
Palmer, who raced for Renault during the 2016 and 2017 F1 seasons, says he is not fully convinced over Mercedes’ upgrades due to its historic strong form in Spain.
“Mercedes were the talk of the race securing their double podium,” Palmer said in his post-Spain column for Formula1.com.
“They have significant upgrades on the car and on the face of it, it looks like they are yielding immediate results.
“However this has always been a strong Mercedes circuit. Last year George Russell was fighting for the lead and ended up third, while Lewis Hamilton put in an eyebrow raising performance from the back of the field.
“It’s more likely that whilst the upgrades worked, the track characteristics also enhanced their performance.
“Canada in a couple of weeks’ time might be a more interesting comparison, as it’s more akin to the street circuits we’ve had thus far.
“They seem to be on the correct development path now though so like last year, they should only get more competitive from here.
“The gap to Red Bull and Max Verstappen remains large though and Mercedes were also flattered by their rivals underperforming.”
Mercedes has since asserted that the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix will pose a bigger challenge compared to Barcelona.