Helmut Marko is relieved that Mercedes have not yet fully resolved the issues affecting their car, with the Red Bull advisor expecting the team to be a threat when they get on top of their problems.
The Silver Arrows are currently third in the Constructors' standings after seven races, and remain some way off their competitors, Red Bull and Ferrari, at the front.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have each stood on the podium, but the ability of the W13 to fight for victory does not yet seem to be there.
However, Marko remains impressed by the pace that the Silver Arrows have displayed on some occasions.
"Mercedes drive incredibly fast laps in practice and sometimes in the races," he told Formel1.de.
"Both Hamilton and Russell, but not continuously. This makes it difficult for us to see where they are getting the times from.
"If you listen to the statements of the people at Mercedes, I think they don't know either."
Marko wary of Mercedes' potential
Whilst the Brackley-based squad are still facing some difficulties with their car, Marko is expecting them to be fighting at the front again in the future.
"The dangerous thing is: the potential does seem to be there," Marko added.
"Once that can be unlocked over the full distance of a race, then they will definitely be back at the front somewhere. Or even at the very front."
Marko is also convinced that the pace displayed by Hamilton and Russell has been genuine.
"It is not a bluff," he continued.
"The strange engine advantage of Hamilton last year, that was bluffing. I don't think that's the case now."
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Issues continue for Mercedes
With these displays of promise – such as during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend – sometimes followed by more challenging sessions, Mercedes' true level of performance is something that Marko is still unclear about.
"It's hard to understand where their incredibly fast laps come from. Sometimes they are the fastest in the field," he explained.
The Austrian expects the Silver Arrows to eventually get on top of their problems, but for now is relieved that they are still not quite back to full power.
"It won't take long to find out why they don't drive continuously at that pace, but they still have problems. Thank God, I have to say," Marko admitted.
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