Toto Wolff has admitted that the on-track performances of his Mercedes team are currently not reaching their own standards, saying the outfit are still attempting to learn how best to unlock speed from their troubled W13.
While Mercedes salvaged a strong double points finish at the season opener in Bahrain, with Lewis Hamilton finishing on the podium, the result only came as a result of a double retirement for the two Red Bulls.
With no such issues for Red Bull in Saudi Arabia, Mercedes could only hope for fifth and sixth place. George Russell managed fifth, while Hamilton had climbed to sixth when an unfortunately-timed pit lane closure resulted in him coming home 10th.
No "magic fixes" on the way for Mercedes
With the W13's issues seemingly stemming from an inability to get on top of the chassis porpoising down the straights, Wolff said there's no quick and easy way to resolve the problems.
"We are in a learning race and the first two weekends have shown we still have plenty to learn," Wolff conceded.
"At the moment, our track performance is not meeting our own expectations, but everyone at Brackley and Brixworth (Mercedes' engine headquarters) is focused on understanding the problems and finding the right solutions.
"There won't be a magic fix for the next race weekend, but we're pushing to steadily bring gains over the upcoming races, to hopefully move us closer to the front of the pack.
"Until then, we need to maximise each opportunity and make the most of the package we have."
Viewed by others:
Mercedes team "showing their true spirit" in adversity
With the team adjusting to life in the midfield after eight consecutive Constructors' Championships, Wolff said the morale within the outfit is still very high as they band together to try to resolve the crisis.
"There are various challenges ahead of us, but that's something we relish and is when a team really shows its true spirit," Wolff commented.
"Lewis and George are making an important contribution to the overall effort, providing feedback, spending time in the simulator, and working together to help push us forward."
Gearing up for the third race of the season, as F1 returns to Melbourne for the first time since the ill-fated trek Down Under in 2020, Wolff is eager to see how the weekend plays out.
"Now we head back to Melbourne for the first time since 2020 and will be racing in Australia for the first time in three years – that's too long for a city and country that are so passionate about F1," he said.
"We're looking forward to seeing the fans and the new track layout which promises more overtaking opportunities and faster lap times."
F1 Podcast: Can anyone stop the Verstappen/Leclerc show?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken,
Mike Seymour, and Thomas Maher look back over the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix in Jeddah, which was won in dramatic fashion by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.