Lewis Hamilton was "super happy" after a promising practice session for Mercedes ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.
Hamilton and his team-mate George Russell recorded two of the best three times in FP2, behind Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who was fastest across both practice sessions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Mercedes were also quicker than Red Bull down the straights, which has not been the case so far in a frustrating season for the team.
Russell is fourth in the drivers' standings, two places ahead of seven-time world champion Hamilton, who has not held back in his criticism of Mercedes so far this season.
But on Friday, he was in a much better mood.
"Positive," he told reporters. "Super happy with the progress, so a big, big, big thank you to everyone back at the factory for not giving up and for continuing to push.
"We're not the quickest yet, but we're on our way. This is the first time that we've driven down the straight without bouncing.
"We still have some bouncing, but it's way better and [we're] starting to eke out a bit of the potential in that car.
"It's still tough out there with the car but it's much nicer than it's been before. So yeah, really grateful for those upgrades – we now need to just fine-tune them into the next session.
"Lots of data to go over to try and position the car, I think we can get it into a better place for tomorrow so that we can tackle the heels of the guys up ahead."
Toto Wolff added: "We've had a second solid Friday like we had in Miami, just we have to see when the grip keeps coming tomorrow, whether we're able to keep that kind of performance and at least be in the mix or solid in the top three.
"So, progress, but not exuberance and ecstasy."