George Russell has issued a warning to Mercedes, insisting that it risks going backwards if it works too hard to recover pace.
Since the start of the last season, Mercedes has been competing off the front-running pace as Red Bull has dominated its competition.
The Brackley-based squad’s only race win in that time came at last year’s São Paulo Grand Prix, where Russell secured his maiden victory.
Prior to the introduction of new technical regulations last year, Mercedes was consistently winning in F1 and enjoyed a dominant streak of championships from 2014 to 2021.
Earlier this year, it gave up on its original car concept under the new technical regulations and has been pushing in a new direction ever since.
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But Russell has warned that if Mercedes attempts to do too much in one swoop, it could see itself descending further down the pecking order.
“I think we're chasing to win races, we're chasing the fight for championships,” Russell told media including RacingNews365.
“Sometimes you need to recognise where the maximum potential is. If you're trying to exceed that potential in a given race weekend, nine times out of 10, you'll probably go backwards.
“I think we can't reinvent the wheel right here on this race weekend, you've got your package, you can tweak it, you can put the cherry on the cake.
“But if you focus too much on trying to add two or three cherries, you might ruin the cake altogether.
“Sometimes working harder, but not smarter, is not the way.”