Toto Wolff has poured cold water on any praise for Mercedes' Miami Grand Prix fightback after George Russell and Lewis Hamilton took P4 and P6.
With Hamilton eliminated in the second part of qualifying on Saturday and Russell only scraping through to Q3, the Mercedes team endured their worst qualifying performance of the season.
Despite a pessimistic outlook for the race, Russell improved from his P6 grid start, whilst Hamilton took advantage of a longer first stint to jump up seven places from P13 on the grid.
The Brackley team had started the weekend with an encouraging performance in Friday practice, but Mercedes Team Principal Wolff was unable to explain the performance peaks and troughs of their W14 car across the weekend.
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"That's the story of the car, that we have very good sessions like on Friday, then we had very difficult qualifying, and then on Sunday we have solid pace," a bemused Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"But solid pace is not where we want to be, and we need to understand why we are lacking that speed for a lap.
"So there is nothing to be relieved of by having a more decent Sunday, because you've got to start at the front and you've got to be able to manage the Red Bulls and the other teams, and that's not the case yet."
The Mercedes boss, however, reserved praise for Hamilton's recovery drive efforts, with the Briton overtaking one of the rival Ferraris in the later stages of the race.
"He's had a mega performance," summarised Wolff.
"Because he started P13 with a car that's really not easy [to drive], and then had to plough through the field.
"At the end he had real pace, and then overtaking the Ferrari, finishing sixth when he started thirteenth, it's a very, very good job that he's delivered today."
Mercedes to review single-lap performance
With Aston Martin having only one driver in the points - with Alonso in third - and Ferrari struggling for pace, Mercedes remarkably outscored their nearest competitors in the Constructors' Championship.
Mercedes' Trackside Engineer Director Andrew Shovlin gave a more positive review of their recovery, but promised a deep delve into the reasons behind their lack of qualifying performance.
"We can be satisfied with the result today considering our start positions," commented Shovlin.
"Our Qualifying performance yesterday meant that the podium places were out of reach for George, and Lewis had a real mountain to climb from 13th.
"Nevertheless, through great overtaking and fine teamwork, with Lewis allowing George through to attack cars ahead, we maximised our performance and points. We've therefore had a decent day in the championship; we're in a close fight with Aston Martin and Ferrari and we've gained some ground.
"We know we're still not quick enough though and we're working hard to rectify that as fast as we can. We will go back from here and try and understand why our single lap performance has been such a challenge."