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BARCELONA, Spain, May 19World champions Mercedes used a “day of shooting” on Wednesday to test elements of an upgrade package set to be introduced to their troublesome W13 car at the weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Numerous reports of a closed-door test on Thursday followed the posting of a photo of George Russell driving the car on Mercedes social media as the team tries to get back into shape after an early start to disappointing season.

Teams are allowed two official filming days per season, during which they are not prohibited from testing new pieces.

Wednesday’s day at the Circuit du Castellet, home of the French Grand Prix, was a practical stopover for the team en route to Catalonia.

The team did not comment or deny the reports and did not confirm if or which parts of the long-awaited upgrade package were tested.

It’s not uncommon for teams to use set days to test parts as well as provide content to commercial partners – Ferrari took part in a similar activity at Monza last Friday with championship leader Charles Leclerc at the wheel of their car.

Mercedes are reportedly testing a new rear wing setup and updated powertrain in a bid to improve their straight line speed and reduce the effects of ‘porpoising’ which have been such a problem with new ‘effect’ cars. of soil”.

Russell had complained earlier this year about the effects of the car’s “bouncing” and said he suffered severe back pain, but he stuck to the new car’s potential.

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“I think we can find pieces of time once we find the key to unlocking the car’s potential,” he said. “We have to keep pushing and it will come, I believe.”

The unpredictable nature of the car’s performance, which changes dramatically with variations in conditions and set-up, undermined the team’s title defense and saw Leclerc top of the drivers’ championship ahead of defending champion Max Verstappen of Red. Bull.