James Allison believes Mercedes was "not deserving" of their one-two in practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.
The second practice session was extended by half an hour due to a lengthy red flag caused by CCTV problems, which meant teams had to group their qualifying and race runs.
Mercedes elected to do their race runs at the start of the session and complete their timed laps on the Soft tyre midway through, before a storm hit the track in the closing stages.
Lewis Hamilton set the pace with a 1:13.718s ahead of George Russell who was just 0.027s slower.
"It's nice to be at the front rather than the back, but I don't think you can read too much into it," said Allison to Sky Sports.
"Thinking that this rain was coming a little sooner than he came, we ran long run at the beginning of the session and our short runs at the end, and everyone else did it vice versa. So we did our runs when the track was at its best."
Viewed by others:
Allison: More to improve for qualifying
Both Mercedes drivers believe more performance can be extracted ahead of qualifying, but Allison was cautious about drawing to conclusions over their pace relative to Ferrari and Red Bull.
He added: "I don't know whether it came over the team radio, but George did his lap and got where he got, and then said 'well it didn't feel very good!' so I think there's plenty more to improve on the car before we get to qualifying."
"All you can read into it is that the car is in okay shape. But it's not deserving of a one-two, because we just weren't running at the same time [as everyone else]."