The German manufacturer introduced a major revision to their troubled W14 car at the Monaco Grand Prix, before bringing another big package to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in early July.
Mercedes have made small gains from those upgrades but some of their rivals including McLaren have enjoyed bigger jumps in competitiveness thanks to their own development progress.
After failing to convert their first pole position of the season into a victory last time out in Hungary, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finishing fourth and sixth respectively, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff acknowledged his side needs to execute races better.
“Hungary was a weekend of highs and lows,” Wolff said ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix. “Our pace was strong on Saturday and Sunday, but we didn’t maximise that across the weekend.
“Lewis produced a brilliant lap to take pole position. However, on Sunday, we were too conservative with some of our decisions and ultimately missed out on a podium. George meanwhile was compromised in qualifying but drove a strong race from P18 to take P6.
“We also encountered cooling limitations across both cars; we likely had the second-fastest car, but we must execute better if we are to deliver our full potential. Nevertheless, we scored good points with both drivers, and consolidated our P2 Championship position.
“We will be aiming to turn those learnings into actions for this weekend. Spa-Francorchamps is a classic venue and a true challenge for both the cars and drivers, especially in the sprint format with such limited practice time on a long and challenging lap.
“We will be bringing updates this weekend as part of our ongoing development programme. We hope this will be another small step forward in improving the W14.
“As we have seen at many races this year though, it is hard to predict where we will be relative to our competitors. Wherever the true pace of our car is here, we want to maximise the outcome in this final race before the summer shutdown.”
Mercedes are currently second in the F1 constructors’ championship, 229 points behind Red Bull and 39 points clear of Aston Martin in third.