Mercedes have revealed that they plan to “alternate” which of their drivers get any of the new upgrades first after Lewis Hamilton voluntarily allowed George Russell to run the revised front wing at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Mercedes had just one new front wing available for the weekend in Monaco which was run on Russell’s car.

It transpired after the weekend that Hamilton allowed his teammate to run it – avoiding the need for a “coin-toss” – to fears of damaging it and potentially having to start from the pit lane due to parc ferme regulations.

Teams typically tend to give whichever driver is ahead in the points standings the upgrade first, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at Mercedes.

If Mercedes have just a single update and one available for a particular weekend, it will be alternated between the drivers.

“We’re looking to have race quantities of that wing in Montreal,” Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin explained in their latest YouTube video. “Normally you’d say race quantities is at least three because you’ve got one for each car and then you’ve got a spare available should anything happen. Now, we didn’t make three in one go.

“We make the first, then the second, then the third. And an upshot of that is that we had one we could bring to Monaco, have it ready for Friday to do the weekend. A while ago the drivers said, ‘Why do we always wait until we’ve got a full set?. Why not just let one of us run it?’

“So we agreed with them that given the situation with the team in terms of performance we need to improve and we need to learn, and it’s quite good to have different specs on the car in order to do that. So we did agree with the drivers where we are now we will be happy to bring one to the track – and they were both happy with that.

“The difficult question was how do we decide who runs it? There actually Lewis said, ‘if we are going to start doing this where we haven’t got both parts, let George run it in Monaco’. There will be races in the future where we will have a single update so we will just alternate from here on in. Lewis actually made that decision quite simple for us.”

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Race

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Mercedes arguably enjoyed their most competitive weekend of the year last time out in the principality as Russell qualified within 0.3s of pole position before finishing fifth ahead of Max Verstappen.

Given the unique nature of Monaco, Shovlin admitted that the true benefit of the new front wing won’t be felt until probably Barcelona.

“There’s a reason teams don’t bring upgrade kits to Monaco which is the very low speed nature of the circuit,” he added.

“The fact it’s so busy, the short straights, it’s very hard to evaluate anything. All the data we have seen though says it was delivering performance. It was bringing a benefit. In terms of how the car was feeling, George was happy with that and he could feel it was a step in the right direction.

“We’re definitely happy with what we have seen to date. We will learn more from Montreal and particularly when you get to a track like Barcelona with a wider cornering speed range, you can really start to learn about it there.”