Mercedes will "emerge stronger" from their difficult start to the 2022 F1 season, according to Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin.
After wrapping up almost every F1 title from 2014 to 2021, Mercedes fell behind Red Bull and Ferrari upon the sport's technical regulation overhaul for 2022.
With the W13 struggling badly from the effects of porpoising early in the season, the team were left to experiment with set-ups and rush through updates.
And, following several frustrating moments as they searched for a breakthrough, Mercedes appear to have taken solid steps forward at recent events.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell logged back-to-back double podiums in France and Hungary, with Russell also claiming pole position last time out.
Shovlin reckons Mercedes will grow from recent challenges
Speaking about the progress made at Mercedes on the F1 Nation podcast, Shovlin commented: "The real confidence is that we're doing the right things, the team's working well and we're going in the right direction.
"At the start of the year, if we got a podium it was because one or two other cars made a mistake, or they had a reliability issue.
"We know where we want to get to with the team and the car. We want to be the quickest car, we want to be qualifying on pole on merit. And these are all steps that we've got to go along that journey.
"We had a very difficult start point. But the team has really worked hard and really gelled to try and get this back on track.
"It's been an interesting challenge for us. I wouldn't say it's all been fun. But I think it's a challenge that the team will emerge stronger from."
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Mercedes target "another two or three tenths"
Shovlin added that Mercedes are now fully focused on taking a final step – "another two or three tenths" – to ramp up the pressure on Red Bull and Ferrari.
Asked if Hamilton or Russell could have won in Hungary, he said: "We'll go through that analysis as we do with every race, because there aren't any that you don't look at [and review] what you could have done better, because you often learn from it.
"I think the reality is, when Max [Verstappen] got out in front, he was quite comfortable. He was managing, he'll have been saving the rubber on the tyres, just in case there was a bit of rain at the end.
"Really, our focus is on saying, 'We just need another two or three tenths'.
"Then we can really start to put them under pressure. Because it's only when you can put a team under pressure that you can really open up those opportunities."
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