Lewis Hamilton admits that he may have been wrong in a statement he made about Mercedes' prospects ahead of the 2022 F1 season.
The Silver Arrows have endured a challenging start to the campaign, with Hamilton facing a particularly difficult race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix where he came home in 13th.
There was speculation during pre-season testing about the team having some issues, and Hamilton has been reflecting on the response he gave at the time when asked about the possibility of Mercedes struggling.
"It's difficult, for sure," Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365.com, of the outfit's current difficulties.
"But I'm not the only one in the team, right? We're all feeling the pain, we're all riding this together, and we win and we lose as a team, so we are doing the best we can with what we have.
"Earlier in the year, [when] we were in Barcelona, a question was put to me like, 'What happens if you get it wrong?' And [I said], 'Well, we don't do that, we don't get things wrong. We're World Champions'.
"But the fact is, with all the possibilities out there, we may have."
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Hamilton hoping for light at the end of the tunnel
Despite the issues that remain with the W13, Hamilton is remaining optimistic that the team will be able to turn things around.
"What we continue to do is just keep our heads down, keep working," the seven-time World Champion said.
"If one person is down, we rely on our teammates to lift each other up.
"We're nowhere near where we want to be, but we'll just keep fighting, keep working as hard as we can, and hope that eventually we see light at the end of the tunnel."
When asked whether he is concerned by the possibility of the car being fundamentally flawed, Hamilton explained: "I can't say whether the car is flawed [or] the concept is flawed. I'm not an aerodynamicist.
"At some stage, we will have a better understanding of whether that is the case or not. Maybe all of a sudden we fix the bouncing, and we unlock more potential."
"We have to accept the reality we're faced with"
With this in mind, Hamilton is not writing the Brackley-based squad's hopes off at this early stage of the season.
"It's difficult to write it off anytime soon, because everyone's continuing to work on it," the Mercedes driver added.
"Hopefully it comes to light soon, one way or another, which solution [to focus on], because we haven't found a solution yet."
However, Hamilton also seems to be of the belief that his chances of fighting for the title are not realistic at the moment.
"Of course, I want to be fighting for the World Championship, but unfortunately that's not the case," he commented.
"We have to accept the reality which we're faced with, and that's what we do as racers, we just keep fighting."
F1 Podcast: Are Red Bull now favourites and has Hamilton hit a new low?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look back over the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Red Bull triumphed, Ferrari hit trouble and Mercedes struggled.