Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has alerted fans that the team is “still hiding a little bit” with regards to showing the true potential of the W14 during pre-season testing in Bahrain.
Pre-season testing is typically tough to analyse, with teams keen not to give too big an insight into their car’s strengths and weaknesses.
It does, however, help them iron out any last-minute changes to give their drivers the best possible ride come the season opener in March.
However, Mercedes appears to be in a much stronger position this year compared to the previous term, which was a shocker in many ways.
The Mercedes W13 was so far behind the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari for the majority of the season that Lewis Hamilton failed to win a single Grand Prix for the first time in his illustrious career.
Mercedes has surprise up its sleeves
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes that while the W14 has already proven to be a far better car than its predecessor based on the limited time it has had on the track, there is still a surprise or two that the team has up its sleeves.
“They are fast, no surprise there,” Wolff said.
“Everybody is playing with fuel loads and hiding with engine modes.
“We are still hiding a little bit. You need to wait also for when the softer tyres come onto the car.”
With Mercedes seemingly in a better position than this time last year, Wolff says the whole team is full of “excitement”.
“Excitement because we got it wrong last year,” he added. “We want to fight for a championship but we need to stay humble.
“Mentally it was difficult to start with a car that is not on par, last year. Hopefully we see something better, and that’s where the excitement comes from. We want to get it right. The porpoising has gone, essentially.”
Wolff then explained the reason behind Hamilton’s minor problem during a practice session.
“When the car was out of balance, maybe you can see the car is leaving black marks when accelerating,” he explained. “It is hot, and we didn’t find the right setup, which is part of the learning for the new car.
“Yes, definitely. Because it isn’t the driver over-driving, it is the car not giving him enough grip from the rear. This is something we need to sort out.”