Lewis Hamilton believes that the British Grand Prix will be the acid test for Mercedes' progress with its tire issues.
The team accepts it still faces race-day tire wear worries, and Hamilton expects the high-speed swoops of Silverstone will deliver the answer as to how much the team has improved since its extreme difficulties at the Spanish Grand Prix, the last comparable venue.
"We took a lot from the race in Barcelona," said Hamilton, when asked at the Mercedes factory about progress since Spain. "The team came back and it had a lot of work to do to understand what went wrong.
"Then we went to a couple of tracks that didn't seem to be too difficult on tires, so I think [Silverstone] will be a really good test to determine how we've done. We will find out if it is the high-speed corners that are giving us the trouble, and that will really pinpoint the issues. But between each corner here, you do have a good straight afterwards so hopefully cooling down of the tires will happen. Maybe we won't be in such a bad place."
CAUSE STILL UNCLEAR
Hamilton admitted, however, that his team still had no answer as to why rivals Red Bull and Ferrari seemed to be so much better on race days.
"I think we've made some small steps just with tire cooling and brake cooling," he said. "It's still an unknown. I definitely feel that we'll be competitive throughout the weekend but I don't know where all the time is being lost on Sunday.
"The car feels great generally throughout the weekend. It's just their car is feeling even better on a Sunday."
Despite being cautious on the tire situation, Hamilton said he was upbeat about his chances of delivering in front of his home fans at Silverstone this weekend.
"I am massively excited about it, and really looking forward to it," he said. "It's been a bit of a long break since the last race, but the build up to this one is always the most exciting. It's generally the busiest but it's also just great to be here and looking forward to seeing the turnout of fans that we have this weekend."