Mercedes endured a difficult start to the weekend on Friday as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell struggled with the balance of their upgraded W14 car on the first day of running at Barcelona. 

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But hard work behind the scenes from Schumacher helped the team unlock a set-up direction that propelled Mercedes to their best result of the season. 

Hamilton finished second behind Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, while Russell came home third to complete the podium and seal Mercedes’ first double rostrum appearance of the season. 

After Sunday's race, both drivers heaped praise on Schumacher, who was in Mercedes’ simulator back at their Brackley factory until gone midnight on Friday evening. 

"Friday was a real struggle with the balance, it was way out of the window," explained Hamilton. 

"It was very hard to drive, very unpredictable. And then we did some great work overnight.  

"We've got a great team, with Mick back in the simulator on Friday night, and he did some great work, which helped us get on the right track on Saturday." 

Russell added: “It probably felt the best it's ever felt around Barcelona because of the cooler conditions. Definitely this season, it is probably the best it's felt, the most together it's felt. 

“The team's done a really, really great job. The work that Mick and the simulator team are doing overnight, they were there well past midnight to help us with the set-up and get it in a good window for the race today.” 

Schumacher, the son of legendary seven-time world champion Michael, has taken on the role of Mercedes’ reserve driver this season after losing his Haas race seat at the end of 2022. 

The 24-year-old German will get his first taste of Mercedes’ W14 car on Wednesday when he takes part in the post-race Pirelli tyre test at Barcelona.