MONACO -- The first images of Mercedes' upgraded Formula One car have emerged from the Monaco pit lane as the team prepares to run the new parts for the first time this weekend.
Mercedes is bringing revised sidepods, front suspension and a new floor to the Monaco Grand prix, which represents a new development direction for the team.
The original plan was to bring the upgrades to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix last weekend, but the race was cancelled due to flooding in the area.
The new parts have been moved to Monaco, with the sidepods and engine covers on display in the pit lane as the team worked on preparing the cars for Friday's opening practice session.
The tight nature of the Monaco circuit and the way track conditions evolve over the weekend means it will not be ideal for Mercedes' understanding of the upgrade, but the team still believes it will gain a performance advantage from the new parts.
"The revised calendar means that Monaco is now the starting point of the European leg of the season," team principal Toto Wolff said. "It is a unique event but will still provide an opportunity to learn about the upgrades to W14 -- but we also need to be careful not to draw too many conclusions from this one event.
"We are introducing the first step in a new development direction. It won't be a silver bullet; from my experience, they do not exist in our sport. We hope that it gives the drivers a more stable and predictable platform. Then we can build on that in the weeks and months ahead.
"F1 is tough competition and a meritocracy. We are not where we want to be but there's no sense of entitlement. It's just about hard work to get us to the front."
Lewis Hamilton, who is currently fourth in the standings with one podium finish from five races, said he was impressed by his team's motivation.
"There are a lot of people on the team that have had all the success that we've had in the past and there are a lot of people that haven't had that success yet and are super-hungry," Hamilton said. I'm really encouraged when I do go back to the factory and see just how hard everyone's working.
"I feel like in the last year we were a little bit lost in terms of how to fix the issue that we had. I feel like the team now have the north star. They know exactly where they need to go, and we're working on how to get there.
"The amount of work that's gone in is incredible, and I'm very, very grateful for the hard work. I've been so excited to get in the car and feel these changes, and I feel that hopefully puts us on the right path now to progress forward and try to catch the guys ahead."
Teammate George Russell is confident it is the right decision to bring the updates in Monaco.
"We're obviously aware that this is a very one-of-a-kind circuit, and we're not going to really read anything into the performance that the new updates show this weekend," he said. "There are always outliers in teams who overperform around a track like Monaco, and teams who underperform around Monaco.
"But ultimately, we don't design a car to be at its peak in Monaco. You look at some teams in the past like Ferrari in the last 10 years, they've always been very strong here. So we just need to get through the weekend and take a review once we get to Barcelona and go from there."