Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes must at least half its deficit to Red Bull in the 2024 season as it continues to battle the ground-effect regulations.
Red Bull has aced the 2022 technical rules with Mercedes only enjoying one win since they were introduced, with Hamilton's winless run going back to the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Although the team is currently locked in a fight with Ferrari for second in the Constructors' Championship, it is over double the points behind the runaway RB19, and 95 behind Max Verstappen's 400 points accumulated on his own.
The W14 has proven tricky to set up during grand prix weekends, with Hamilton urging the team to find a solution for the 'knife edge' feeling he has while making significant in-roads into Red Bull in 2024.
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Hamilton's knife edge
"It's just really hard to pull anymore [peformance] out, I'm already on a knife edge with the rear-end the whole way through a lap," Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365.
"As a team, we really need to realise that a one-second gap [in Japanese GP qualifying to Red Bull and Max Verstappen] is huge, and real.
"To be two years in [to the ground effect regulations] and still be a second down on the Red Bulls is showing. We really need to make sure we do the job to get at least half back before next year.
"We have a very peaky car, it's like that knife edge of trying to balance the knife on its tip, and this is that car, it's impossible.
"It is never perfectly balanced one way or the other, and it is either massive oversteer or massive understeer. You can never get anything when you try and get it as close as you can to the middle.
"It's very hard to do each weekend."