Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says a trying 2022 season has nevertheless brought about some positives for the team to take on board.
After sweeping every available Constructors' Championship between 2014 and 2021, Mercedes have slipped back in 2022, as Ferrari and Red Bull duke it out for the title.
Plagued by bouncing issues at the start of the season, the Silver Arrows are yet to win a Grand Prix in 2022, but appear to have closed the gap on the leading contenders in recent races, with drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finishing second and third respectively over the last two races.
Wolff acknowledged that Mercedes' sudden fall from grace was a rude awakening at the beginning of the year.
"The start of the season wasn't really any good, and there is no other way of describing it," Wolff told Mercedes' official YouTube channel.
"If you win the championship in December, and then four months on, you're not competing with the guys in the front, that's frustrating.
"Since then, we had a roller coaster. We've been on the podium, almost every single race, we were strong on the Sundays, but never quite there in qualifying, and the gap was simply too large.
"So now it's about trying to understand what it is and in the second half of the season, hopefully increase our qualifying pace, and then be able to race for victories."
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Wolff keen on learning from disappointing 2022
Although Wolff was reluctant to pick out what had gone well for Mercedes in the first half of 2022, he added that the difficulties they had endured would hopefully prove to be a good learning experience for future years.
"There is not a lot that really went so well, if you concede that our expectation was to fight for the World Championship," said Wolff.
"But we need to take the positives. What we've said in the past is the days we lose are the days we learn the most, and I think this is what happened.
"Our car was really difficult [at the start of the year]. At times, it really seemed that it didn’t improve, and I think the learnings that we made, the tough learnings, will help us over many years.
"But also, our time span is not a single weekend or even a single year.
"We're looking at continuing to develop over two, five and 10 years, and for this, maybe the learnings and the toughness we had this year can be beneficial."
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