Toto Wolff has admitted that Mercedes underestimated some of the 2022 aerodynamic regulation changes, with the team now trying to find a solution to combat their issues.
Following Friday's opening practice sessions at the Australian Grand Prix, the W13 looked to be close to 1.4 seconds per lap slower than the time-topping Ferrari of Charles Leclerc around the Albert Park Circuit.
It comes as the Silver Arrows continue to struggle with controlling the effects of porpoising (bouncing), which driver George Russell says he felt more severely than ever during the opening day of running in Melbourne.
Wolff has explained that Mercedes have a quick fix for their struggling car, but one that he has suggested would sacrifice the progress they have made in other areas of development, effectively taking the squad back to square one.
Wolff confident Mercedes W13 can come good
For now, Mercedes plan to persist with their W13 car in the confidence that they will be competitive once again, just as soon they have found the cure for porpoising.
“We underestimated the aero effect of the underbody and are now trying to solve that without going the obvious route," Wolff has admitted, speaking to Austrian outlet Krone.
"The easiest thing would be to make the floor stiffer. However, we believe that we can maintain the aerodynamic performance without it becoming rock hard.
"Since the extremely high speeds cannot be tested in the simulator, this has to be learned on the track."
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Shovlin: We're getting used to bad days
Mercedes say they will be working long into the night in Australia as they look to extract some much-needed performance from their car.
The team's Trackside Engineer, Andrew Shovlin, says that there are some set-up ideas for the Silver Arrows to try during FP3 on Saturday, but has conceded that the bad days are becoming far too common for the eight-time Constructors' Champions.
"It was not an easy day overall, but we're getting used to those this year," Shovlin said.
"We already have some ideas of which direction we can go with the set-up, and will do more work overnight in Brackley to understand those changes better, so fingers crossed we can move forward overnight."
Video: Are Mercedes playing it safe with the W13 reveal?
Mercedes showed off two different versions of the W13 during their 2022 car launch, with some key differences between the digital and physical models.