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Despite the impacts of the budget cap, Mercedes have consistently introduced upgrades throughout the season, as they seek to maximise the potential of the tricky W13.

The Silver Arrows have made some important strides over the last few rounds, showing occasional flashes of race-winning pace as they close the gap to the leaders.

Mercedes still suffer from specific weaknesses that limit their success at certain tracks, but they will be encouraged by their improved understanding of the W13.

Toto Wolff has made clar the team must keep on improving, revealing the Brackley squad will continue to introduce upgrades:

"We scored three podiums in the first seven races, and we have now achieved four in the last four. I'm pleased with the momentum we are building, and it reflects the mammoth effort of the team.

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"Our understanding of the W13 is growing with every lap and it's encouraging to see that reflected in our development and results.

"While we were quicker in Austria, we still weren't quick enough to challenge at the front. We need to keep chasing those final few tenths and bringing new developments to the cars, including this weekend in France."

Paul Ricard should play to the W13's strengths, owing to its flat track surface, giving the Silver Arrows a chance to continue their podium streak. 

The extreme temperatures in Europe will also play a part this weekend, as teams must adapt to the demands and stresses of the tyres. The drivers will also face a very physically demanding weekend. 

Toto Wolff is encouraged by the possibilities for Mercedes at the French GP as he looks for the team to continue its momentum. 

"Paul Ricard is a very different track and challenge. It has smooth tarmac and a wide range of corner types, along with long straights.

"The aim will be to make further inroads on the gap to the front and hopefully be back on the podium."