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After a difficult start to the season, the Spanish GP has again proven a critical stage in development for teams. Several teams, including Mercedes, highlighted the importance of this weekend in F1's eternal battle for improvement. 

McLaren, Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo are examples of teams to have brought immense upgrade packages to the Catalunya Circuit. This venue presents a rare opportunity to compare data collected from pre-season testing.

Correlation issues have been nightmarish for Mercedes this year, as they struggle to transfer the telemetry from the factory into on-track improvement. 

So far this weekend, however, Mercedes have taken some important steps forward in their most persistent enemy this season - porpoising.

The battle has only begun for Mercedes, who will remember the rise and fall they experienced just two weeks ago at the Miami GP from Friday practice into Saturday qualifying. 

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Still, the timing sheets look very encouraging for the Silver Arrows. Their fastest efforts from Friday practice put them at the front of the field, whilst their long-run pace was also highly competitive. 

Mercedes have maintained that the W13 has the potential to compete for race victories, but the machine has shown itself to be extremely inconsistent. 

The W13 is yet to show the blistering pace we are accustomed to seeing from the Silver Arrows, but it has shown patches of performance that would solidify it as a top three team.

Despite their position in the standings, Mercedes have experienced several blips seeing them slip away from the front and into the midfield battle, with the likes of Alfa Romeo and McLaren proving genuine rivals on their day. 

The key is that the W13 has a very specific window in which it performs well, but changes in track temperature or wind levels can negatively impact performance.

Mercedes will hope to carry their Friday momentum into the rest of the weekend and - if possible - the rest of the season.