George Russell says Mercedes are "stuck with what we've got" for the time being, as the Silver Arrows continue to struggle with porpoising on their W13 challenger.
After almost unbroken success since 2014, Mercedes have fallen back to earth with a bump in 2022, as the new technical regulations have seen the Silver Arrows firmly take a back seat as Ferrari and Red Bull duel instead for race wins.
With Mercedes relegated to scrapping for occasional podium finishes instead of race wins, Russell was at pains to accentuate the positive to the Silver Arrows' trying start to the season.
No quick fix for Mercedes
"Everybody's digging deep, and I think days like [Friday qualifying at Imola, where Russell and Hamilton finished 11th and 13th] will make us stronger in the long run," Russell told media including RacingNews365.com.
"Ultimately, when the car isn't quick enough, everything goes against you: strategy isn't necessarily the best, luck isn't on your side, everything sort of goes against you.
"Whereas when the car's quick, the strategy is always amazing, luck is always on your side, and everything just goes in your favour, so that's the fact of the matter, and we just need to find more performance."
The Briton cautioned, however, that there would be no quick fix to Mercedes' current malaise.
"We're learning every single day and we feel like there will be a solution in the pipeline at some point, but at the moment, we're sort of stuck with what we've got."
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Mercedes struggling over one lap
The Mercedes W13 has proved noticeably tricky over one lap, with Russell and Hamilton qualifying no higher than fifth so far in 2022, and Russell noted this as an area with room for improvement.
"It's been clear all year that we've struggled a bit with warm-up, and the nature of these first four races, it progressively got a little bit cooler every race," said Russell.
"Bahrain is notoriously a very aggressive circuit, and then we went to [Jeddah] where it was a lot smoother, racing in the night, [then] Melbourne was a bit cooler, and then [on Friday at Imola it] was 13 degrees.
"I think you can see that difference between a car like us that's really strong in the race, compared to a Haas or McLaren, who just get turned on over one lap but then struggle over the course of 60 laps, so we need to find a better compromise.
"For sure, it was a frustrating day, but that's the way it pans out sometimes."
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