Mercedes believes the gap to Red Bull is "huge" and that the team will have a lot of work ahead to close the deficit after finishing 50 seconds behind Max Verstappen at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton conceded they have the "fourth best car" after he struggled to overtake Carlos Sainz and was unable to defend from shock podium finisher Fernando Alonso.
Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin, outlined the key areas where Mercedes is lacking after a difficult start to their 2023 campaign.
"It was a very difficult Sunday; the gap to Red Bull is huge and we’ve got Aston Martin and Ferrari ahead of us too. Clearly, we have a lot of work ahead and we need to go back and come up with a plan to try and find improvements.
"We are lacking overall grip and, on a high degradation track like this, there was nothing that the drivers could do to attack. However, it’s encouraging to see how the team is pulling together and how well the drivers are working together."
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Shovlin: Current form not acceptable for this team
Shovlin continued to say that the current form from the team is "not acceptable" and expects a lot of work to be done to understand their problems, ahead of the next race in Saudi Arabia.
"This is the second season we’ve started on the back foot though and we’re under no illusion that this is not acceptable for our team.
"We’ve got a few days to regroup and improve ahead of Saudi; we will work together to try and make sure the next race is a better one than this weekend."
Prior to George Russell's victory in Brazil last year, the last Mercedes win was at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.