Toto Wolff has said that Mercedes intend on trialling a few new ideas with their troublesome W13 before giving any thought to giving up on the 2022 car.
The reigning Constructors' World Champions don't appear to be in the title battle this season, with Ferrari's F1-75 and Red Bull's RB18 seemingly a clear step ahead.
George Russell finished as the highest-placed Mercedes driver last time out at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, coming home in fourth, while Lewis Hamilton had an eye-catching drive for all the wrong reasons as he finished in 13th.
The Silver Arrows haven't yet managed to get on top of the porpoising issues that seem to be the root cause of their lack of performance, but Wolff says the team aren't quite ready to give up on the aggressive sidepod-less concept of the W13 just yet.
Mercedes still have a few ideas left to try
"I think all the goodness and badness happens mainly on the floor, as it stands, at the moment," he told media, including RacingNews365.com, at Imola.
"We have interesting ideas and concepts that we are trying and that we are exploring, that have to find its way onto the car in the next few races, so we can make a call.
"I would say there is no such thing as a concept being wrong. But is there a part of what we have done [that] just simply doesn't work with the regulations, and what is it?"
Wollf continued to say that the point at which the team may switch attention to next year will come if they discover the issue to be fundamental to the design.
"You don't need to throw away the goodness, you can keep the goodness," he added.
"But, if there are fundamental areas that don't allow us to unlock the potential that we believe is in the car, then, obviously, you need to cut your losses."
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When might the team make such a decision?
Asked to put a timeline on when Mercedes might opt to write off 2022, Wolff admits that it is not a particularly easy call to make.
This is because of a lack of understanding of the issue, meaning that the Brackley-based squad can't implement a fix on the 2023 car without that knowledge.
"Define cut the losses, because it would mean that you say, 'Okay, where's the baseline now?'" he said.
"Is there a new baseline where we can start from, where we believe that we can unlock more potential? If we thought that, we would have done it five months ago.
"We believe that this is the development direction that we need to take, so it's quite a tricky exercise to do.
"Before we take such a decision, we need to really continue in the science and continue in finding out what it is because, only then, you can actually say, 'Okay, cut the losses and switch to next year'.
"[You have to understand] where you got it wrong but, at the moment, we simply don't. Not yet."
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