Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff says his team still don't fully understand the troublesome W13.
After taking eight successive Constructors' Championships since 2014, Mercedes have fallen back to earth with a bump this year, as Ferrari and Red Bull instead duel for victories.
Designed around F1's new technical regulations for 2022, Mercedes' W13 challenger noticeably struggles with porpoising, and the Silver Arrows have been relegated to scrapping for occasional podium finishes.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have complained that the W13 is a tricky beast to tame, with both drivers slipping back through the order during the Miami Grand Prix weekend.
Wolff points to set-up as Mercedes go backwards
After Russell set the fastest time of anyone across Friday's two practice sessions in Miami, Mercedes found the going tougher on Saturday, with Hamilton qualifying sixth and Russell only 12th, and Wolff said the team were at a loss to explain the inconsistency.
"We still don't understand our car," Wolff told Austrian outlet Sport24Auto.
"We had a really good day of Friday practice in Miami and were among the fastest, [but] on Saturday, everything was suddenly different again."
He then pointed out: "Minimal changes in the set-up have a big impact."
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After the Miami Grand Prix, Mercedes sit a distant third in the Constructors' Championship with 95 points, behind Ferrari on 157 points and Red Bull on 151, with Russell and Hamilton sitting fourth and sixth respectively in the Drivers' Championship.
But despite Mercedes failing to finish higher than third so far this season, Wolff is not giving up on the 2022 championship just yet.
"We've only had five races, so you can't write anything off – it can swing in our direction again," said Wolff.
"And in terms of points, we're not far behind."
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