Mercedes are debuting what they hope will be substantial upgrades in Monte Carlo, including sidepods which are similar to Red Bull’s philosophy.

Russell and Lewis Hamilton hope that Monaco will be the start of a new chapter where the new-look W14 can again fight Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

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“Things are working as expected, no real concerns,” Russell said about Mercedes’ upgrades.

“We brought a lot to the car - aero package, new suspension and all are working as expected.

“I see no reason why in Barcelona it won’t perform as we expected, and we will hopefully make a small jump.

“But, equally, I think Aston Martin has brought some upgrades as well and naturally the whole field moves forward.”

“Sometimes you have got to stick with what you believe. And, sometimes, the best course of action is building around your foundations.

 “But we wanted to rule some things out.

“The sidepods haven’t necessarily brought any additional performance by going to a more Red Bull concept.

“The magic is more underneath the floor. But we still had to rule it out. We’ve done that now, now we move on.”

The revised design to the floor was displayed when Hamilton crashed in practice, and a crane lifted his car high into the air.

Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team principal, joked that it was like a circus act.

Wolff is hoping to gain further understanding of Mercedes’ latest upgrades in Monaco, and next week in Spain, while they continue to tweak their revised ideas.

The ‘zeropod’ strategy which Mercedes have now ditched in favour of the approach that Red Bull use is the key difference.