Lewis Hamilton struggled to hide his disappointment following an eye-opening Friday ahead of the F1 season-opener in Bahrain.
With the second free practice session providing something closer to a true indicator of the 2023 running order, the Mercedes drivers were left in P8 and P13.
Hamilton finished as the higher-place Mercedes and, speaking immediately after FP2, was asked what he found out during Friday's running.
"We found out we're a long way off," Hamilton replied to media.
"We kind of knew that a little bit in the test, but it's a big gap. I'm trying everything I can out there but, it is what it is, and so we're just going to try and work at it."
Following the qualifying simulations, teams also completed their usual race simulations in FP2, with teams providing more indictors of their pace.
When asked if he felt Mercedes were closer to the front in longer or shorter run lap times, Hamilton responded: "Neither, I think they're very, very similar."
"We're offset in low and high. To Red Bull, looking at the long runs, they were a second per lap faster.
"I think on the long run we're quite close to Ferrari, it looks like the Astons are second, and we're kind of between third and fourth.
"So, we're kind of either where we were last year, if not a little bit further behind."