Mercedes is “fighting a few little issues” with its 2020 Formula 1 engine development as it pushes to be ready in time for the start of the new season.

The German manufacturer has been the benchmark in terms of engine performance since F1 made the switch to the current V6 hybrids in 2014, though it has seen its rivals converge in recent years.

Ferrari made significant steps with its power unit and appeared to be the class of the field in that department in 2019, while Honda also made impressive gains in its first season with Red Bull as the campaign progressed.

The German manufacturer is seeking additional performance improvements from its latest engine in a bid to regain its supremacy as it looks to surpass Ferrari’s record of six consecutive constructors’ world championships.

Providing an update on its progress ahead of the forthcoming season, Andy Cowell, the head of Mercedes-Benz’s engine department, revealed the team has faced some setbacks.

“There’s lots going on in Brixworth and lots of improvements across the whole power unit, on the ERS side and on the internal combustion (ICE) side,” Cowell said.

“As ever we are fighting a few little issues as we pull everything together, so there’s lots of work going into building the right spec, giving it long run and then providing power units to the team so they can fire up the cars.

“Then it’s about getting the hardware ready to go track testing and with the car launch on February 14, and then off to Barcelona with three cars  [Mercedes, Racing Point and Williams] hopefully pounding around the track for the six days of testing before we are off to testing.

“For the race pool, a huge amount of parts have already been made and the assembly is going together.

“So, a busy time chasing bits of performance, getting the reliability there and getting a huge amount of hardware together and getting it to the other side of the world.”

Mercedes will launch its 2020 challenger - the W11 - on February 14 before pre-season testing takes place at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya between February 19-21 and February 26-28.