Ross Brawn says Mercedes is making progress with the W04 despite not bringing any updates recently.
The team principal is adamant that performance has been found as the engineers have been able to hone a package that has remained consistent in terms of actual parts.
“We are chipping away at trying to find improvements to the car,” said Brawn. “As I’ve mentioned before we can’t do it at the expense of next season. But there’s little things with the set-up we’re trying to do, there’s little things to better understand the tyres.
“Sometimes when you don’t change the car very much in terms of development you consolidate what you have and you explore the set-ups more, because you’ve got fewer things to play with. So we’re exploring the set-ups, the balance, the aerodynamic balance, the mechanical balance. And there are little things coming out which are accumulating into a decent improvement.
“I’ve seen that so many times before, that when you fully explore the package, and you consolidate what you’ve got, it’s surprising how you can move forward. I think the last couple of races are a good example of that. We’re in a different place with the set-up than we have been for a few previous races, and it seems to be giving some benefit. Not enough yet, but it seems to be some benefit.”
Ross Brawn has stressed that tyres will still be the key factor for Mercedes in Monaco, despite the unusual nature of the track.
Mercedes had a strong package in 2012, when Michael Schumacher took pole and Nico Rosberg finished a close second.
“Monaco is a not usually a race to which teams bring many updates because the track conditions change so much across the weekend,” said Brawn. “The priority is always to get the drivers comfortable with the unique challenge the circuit presents, and to give them a set-up they feel confident pushing to the limit.
“Both Nico and Lewis have historically been incredibly competitive in Monaco and this weekend will certainly allow their talent to shine. The engineering team will be focused on getting the most from our car on the slow, bumpy layout and there will of course be particular emphasis on achieving tyre consistency and durability.
“Meanwhile, our work continues back at Brackley and Brixworth to fully understand the reasons for our below-par race performance in Barcelona, in order to develop the right solutions for the upcoming circuits where high tyre usage could once again be a limitation for us.”
Meanwhile Toto Wolff added: “It is clear to everybody in the team that, while we have a strong car right now, we are not able to use that performance properly on Sunday afternoon. Although overtaking in Monaco is difficult, we cannot afford to be complacent in terms of tyre management and we will need to do significantly better than we managed in Barcelona in order to score a strong result.
“We have only scored points with one of our cars at the past three races and this is something we must improve quickly, beginning next weekend in Monte Carlo.”