Daniel Ricciardo is confident Mercedes will soon be able to extract more performance from their power unit, stressing that "there are no better hands I would rather it be in".
The McLaren driver is yet to score a World Championship point in 2022, following his team's poor start to the season.
Mercedes-powered McLaren were top of the timing sheets after day one of F1's pre-season shakedown in Barcelona, but since then they have slid down the order dramatically.
The season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix proved a real challenge for Ricciardo and teammate Lando Norris, before the Saudi Arabian GP offered a glimmer of hope, with McLaren seemingly heading for a double-points finish on race day.
That was until Ricciardo's Mercedes engine suffered a problem, forcing him to retire from the race and leaving him pointless.
Ricciardo: I have faith in Mercedes engines
Two races into the new season, Haas' Mick Schumacher (who did not start the Saudi Arabian GP due to a heavy crash in qualifying) is now the only non-Mercedes-powered driver yet to score a World Championship point.
Of the eight drivers operating cars backed by Mercedes power, only Norris, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton have fought their way into the top 10 by the chequered flag.
But Ricciardo has faith that Mercedes will find a way to improve the performance of their Brixworth-built power units.
"Not to go hard on McLaren but, obviously, I still want us to address our controllables first," said Ricciardo, speaking to select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com.
"It's no secret that Mercedes, let's say, have still got a bit to find.
"I mean, racing the Aston [Martin] - obviously with the same power unit - I could see even just by the size of their wing that they were running a very different set-up, and it looked like they were trying to go low drag to maybe make up for a deficit, or run that compromise. It certainly helped them in some areas but hurt them in others.
"Ideally, you want to run max downforce everywhere and have the power to be able to cope with it. But yeah, I obviously have faith that they'll find a way to keep fighting and squeezing a bit more out of it.
"Let's say, in this situation, there are no better hands I would rather it be in."
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Ricciardo urges patience amid McLaren struggles
The start of the 2022 season has left Ricciardo once again playing catch up to younger teammate Norris.
But with McLaren struggling, the main focus is on returning the team to the front of the midfield, and not fighting against each other on track.
"Look, if in two races time we're flying for top five then okay, we'll take it and that's a bonus," he said.
"But I think mentally, [it's important] to remain calm, chill, level-headed and sensible; you need to realise that we're not looking for three, four tenths – it's over a second if we want to fight for wins.
"I doubt it's going to come overnight. So we have to just be patient and I think, for the wellness of the team, it's important to do that. It's too early to cause a ruckus."
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