George Russell has called for Mercedes to reduce the amount of experimental setups they are running during practice sessions.
After a near-clean sweep of F1 titles between 2014 and 2021, Mercedes have fallen back behind Ferrari and Red Bull and are yet to win a race this year.
The W13 also struggled badly with porpoising earlier on in the season, prompting Mercedes to bring regular updates to Grands Prix and experiment with different setups as they search for the right formula to bring them back atop the winner's dais.
And though Mercedes scored their best result of the season so far at Paul Ricard, with Lewis Hamilton second and Russell third, qualifying saw Russell 1.259s adrift of polesitter Charles Leclerc.
This deficit prompted Russell to suggest that Mercedes were hurting their chances of success by experimenting too much during race weekends.
"When you're so far off the pace, you want to try everything you can to try and close that gap," Russell told media including RacingNews365.com.
"Maybe that's a lesson for us, that we just need to almost focus on ourselves and really try to focus on getting the most out of the car, rather than experimenting too much.
"But we need to experiment at this moment to see what works and what doesn't work. It's a little bit tricky at the moment."
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Russell optimistic of continued Mercedes improvement
Mercedes seem to have largely eradicated the problems that the W13 had with porpoising earlier in the year, and the Silver Arrows have scored podium finishes in the last five races, prompting Russell to express his optimism over the team's direction of travel.
"I think we're definitely optimistic because we feel like we do have a direction to keep chipping away at and we do think we will make good progress," said Russell.
"Qualifying is the day where you have that clearest comparison to your rivals, and it's clearly a bit difficult when we see how far we were from pole.
"But [the race] is where we need to judge, I do think we have a faster car than we have done on average this season."
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