Mercedes admits seeing a substantial difference in lap times between different engine modes, as the Silver Arrows performed a test during Friday’s practice sessions at the Belgian Grand Prix.

“We’ve had a pretty clean day overall,” Shovlin said. “It’s often tricky on Friday here with the long lap and unpredictable weather but we’ve made good use of the sessions and have ended up with a reasonable balance.

“It’s hard to know quite where we stand; the circuit is very power sensitive so going up and down on modes can give big swings in lap time but the car seems to be working as it should and it looks like we’re there or thereabouts on pace.”

Talking about the balance problems that Lewis Hamilton experienced during the day, Shovlin said he expects his team to make progress with the car overnight.

“There’s a bit more to find on the balance and Lewis had some vibrations on the long run that won’t have helped,” he said. “But hopefully we can make some further progress with the car overnight.

“We’re expecting more of the same from the weather over the rest of the weekend, it’s quite hard to read more than 30 minutes into the future so planning qualifying and the race could be tricky but it’s not unusual to be in that position here.”

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